Ontario's decade-long decline in employment led by manufacturing sector
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:25PM EST
OTTAWA -- A new Statistics Canada analysis shows Ontario's status as the economic engine of Canada has been declining since 2003, with the manufacturing sector leading the retreat.
The agency says Canada's largest province still has by far the largest share of payroll workers with 5.8 million non-farm employees.
But as a share of the 15.3 million in Canada, Ontario's portion has been trimmed to 38 per cent from 39.2 per cent in 2003.
Meanwhile, the proportion of non-farm employees in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan has been increasing.
Ontario's biggest losses have come in the battered factory sector, which has shed 255,000 jobs in the past 10 years to 654,200.
Once the top employer in the province, manufacturing was surpassed by the retail sector in 2009, and now faces a challenge for second place from health-care and social assistance employees.
The province's employment decline has been mirrored in the quality of jobs. The agency says average weekly salaries in Ontario rose 2.4 per cent to $908.59, but the increase is below the national average gain of 3.4 per cent.
In terms of average weekly wages, Ontario is just above the national average of $902.29, but bested by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.