Shifts in the main sectors of employment in Niagara as reported by numbers employed ….

In Niagara, in 2010, the majority of the jobs were in the retail and wholesale trade sector (17%), accommodations and food service sector (12%), and the manufacturing sector (11%), accounting for 40% of the employment.

Employment by sector

In 2009, the majority of jobs were in: retail and wholesale trade; health care and social assistance; and the manufacturing sector.  These sectors combined represent 40% of Niagara’s jobs.

Table 8.2 Main industrial sectors of employment for Niagara 2005 and 2009

Main industrial employment sectors in Niagara in 2005. Main industrial employment sectors by number of employees in Niagara in 2009. Main industrial employment sectors by number of employees in 2010.
  1. Sales and service occupations (over one third)
  2. Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations
  3. Business, finance and administrative occupations
  4. Management occupations
  5. Occupations in social science, education, government service and religion
  6. Occupations unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities
  7. Health occupations
  8. Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
  9. Occupations unique to primary industry
  1. Trade (retail/wholesale)
  2. Healthcare & social assistance
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Accommodation & food services
  5. Construction
  6. Education
  7. Information, culture & recreation
  8. Finance, Insurance & real estate
  9. Other services
  10. Professional, scientific & technical sales
  11. Agriculture

Source: Niagara Workforce Planning Board and the Niagara Observatory  report on The changing economic structure of Niagara

  1. Trade (retail, wholesale) (17%)
  2. Accommodation & food services (12%)
  3. Manufacturing (11%)
  4. Educational services (7%)
  5. Information, culture & recreation (6%)
  6. Business, building & other support services (5%)
  7. Transportation & warehousing (5%)
  8. Professional, scientific & technical services (4%)
  9. Public administration (4%)
  10. Finance, insurance, real estate & leasing (4%)
  11. Other services (4%)
  12. Agriculture (2%)

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2010, St. Catharines-Niagara CMA.


Gender and employment in Niagara:   In 2011 males in Niagara had a slightly higher unemployment rate than females (total of all ages, and those under age 65), largely due to the effects of loss of manufacturing jobs and the economic downturn of 2008.

Average Income

Average Income

Source: CANSIM Table 202-0407

Employment trends and changes:

There had been a significant loss of manufacturing jobs and a significant increase in the goods producing sector. The service sector grew by 38%, compared to 26% for goods producing industries from 1996 to 2006. These jobs often pay less, are part-time and provide few benefits.

Employment Trends in St. Catharines - Niagara; 2000 - 2009

Employment Trends in St. Catharines – Niagara; 2000 – 2009

The Toronto Innovation Group in its paper on “An economy out of shape” suggested that innovation and economic planning is required to change that hourglass. The hourglass depicts the shape of the Ontario’s labour market; a cluster of jobs at the top as Knowledge Workers; a cluster at the bottom of Entry level jobs; and a shrinking middle of other possible jobs and occupations. The paper was developed to analyze this phenomenon and implications for change. The writers suggest this is why we have such a gap between the rich and the poor, very tied to the labour market trends. The existence of the working poor is growing. Education and development of more knowledge level jobs and a creative class of work is suggested as the way of the future and the basis for continued prosperity for any region. In addition they outline ways to assist entry level workers to gain more employable skills.

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