Labour Force characteristics for St. Catharines – Niagara CMA, for population over 15 years of age (based on a monthly moving average). Source: Statistics Canada Table 28200090 Table 282-0001, Catalogue No. 71-001-41E.
From 1999 to 2009, employment increased 4.75% in Niagara, lower than the 12% increase that had been predicted before the recession period hit. Between 2000 and 2008, employment in Niagara grew from 190,400 to 197,400; an increase of 3.68 percent. However, these gains were lost during the economic recession in 2008. By 2009, Niagara’s total employment was at 185,100, effectively erasing the gains made during the past decade. Niagara witnessed employment growth of -2.8 % between 2000 and 2009. In comparison, Canada witnessed a total employment growth of 14.1% from 2000 to 2009 and Ontario witnessed a growth of 12.2 %. Thus, employment growth in Niagara has not kept pace with Ontario, or the nation, for the past decade.
In the Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula economic region, employment increased from June 2010 to June 2011 by 20,200, going up to a total of 719,400. Job gains were made in both full-time (+18,100) and part-time (+2,100) employment. The number of unemployed persons fell by 9,100. As a result, the unemployment rate declined in the combined area from 8.0% in June, 2010 to 6.7% in June 2011. Over this same period, the provincial unemployment rate fell from 8.8% to 7.9%.
The employment participation rate: In May, 2011, St. Catharines-Niagara CMA was 57.5%, below the 62.2% employment participation rate for Ontario and below 63.5% for Canada. The participation rate figures represent an unadjusted 3 month moving average. The employment participation rate was 63.3% for Niagara in May of 2011, below the 67.9% for Ontario.
Niagara’s employment has fluctuated over the years, reaching a high in the year 2001 and a low in the middle of 2006. Females have reflected a lower participation rate than males, particularly with a wide gap in 2006. However, by 2011, the female participation rate was higher than that for males.