June 21, 2007
Media Release

York Region employment growth matches population growth over the past eight years

Region achieves average annual employment growth of 4.9% between 1998 and 2006
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council today released the Employment and Industry Report 2006, which provides a detailed snapshot of economic and employment trends in York Region, including national and provincial overviews, an outlook for the economy in 2007, sector breakdowns and area municipal profiles.
“Over the past eight years, York Region has maintained a level of employment growth that exceeds both national and provincial averages,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “This information reinforces local and global awareness of York Region’s vibrant economy and helps to attract more business investment.”
According to the report, York Region has succeeded in recent years in attracting a number of large corporations to the area while facilitating the growth of existing firms.  There were approximately 29,000 businesses employing 460,000 people in York Region in 2006.  Over the past eight years, York Region’s employment growth has matched population growth and continues to be on track with projections.
“York Region’s continued business expansion across a variety of industry sectors contributes to an already broad-based economy and insulates the Region from sudden shifts in the business cycle,” said Town of East Gwillimbury Mayor James Young, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “York Region’s manufacturing sector continues to show resilience, avoiding the employment losses seen at both the national and provincial levels.”
Strong employment growth was evident in a number of sectors, with the business services, retail trade, public administration and health care and social assistance sectors each recording growth rates in excess of five per cent annually since 1998.
 Manufacturing remained the primary employer in York Region (19.8 per cent of the total employment), and grew at a healthy 24.1 per cent between 1998 and 2006. 
The largest manufacturing employment sub-sectors in the Region were:
• Motor vehicle parts manufacturing (approximately 14 per cent of manufacturing)
• Printing and related support activities (approximately 9 per cent of manufacturing)
• Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing (approximately 7 per cent of manufacturing)
• Plastic product manufacturing (approximately 6 per cent of manufacturing)
For 2007, the business outlook appears positive for York Region.  A number of projects are currently under construction across the Region, with industrial and commercial construction valued at $697 million in 2006.  This project will provide local employment opportunities both in the construction phase and upon completion. 
This level of building permit activity is expected to generate approximately 17,000 jobs.  In addition, a large supply of new residential housing units under construction and scheduled for occupancy in 2007 will also increase the demand for population-based employment, including health care, education, retail and personal services in the coming months.
The economic indicators presented in this report allow Regional staff and Council to evaluate and respond to changes in the Region’s economy.  The collection of employment and business data plays a vital role in monitoring changes in the Region’s economy, estimating the Regional assessment base and forecasting future infrastructure and service requirements.
This report is based on information collected during the 2006 York Region Employment Survey, a study of York Region businesses conducted between May and August 2006.  The data from the York Region Employment Survey is also used to create the York Region Business Directory and the Economic & Development Review. 
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Media Contact: Melissa Di Costanzo, Corporate Communications, York Region
 Phone: 905 830-4444 ext. 1207
 Email: Melissa.DiCostanzo@york.ca

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