April 4 2003 - March saw the creation of another 17,100 new jobs in Ontario, which
means that 71,000 new jobs were created in the first quarter of 2003 and a total of
1,105,000 net new jobs since 1995. Across the rest of Canada there was a net loss of 2,900
jobs in March.
Job gains in March were mainly in the service sector, including 13,500
new jobs in health care and social assistance, and 12,200 new jobs in
accommodation and food services.
While Canada's unemployment rate fell marginally to 7.3% (from 7.4%
in February) Ontario's unemployment rate continued on a downward trend to 6.5%.
"Ontario's economic plan continues to promote new jobs and new growth,"
said Finance Minister Janet Ecker. "By cutting taxes and focusing on prudent
fiscal management, Ontario can expect continued growth and prosperity in 2003
and 2004, with more new jobs and more take-home pay for families."
"Ontario's stellar job creation record contrasts with what's happening in
other parts of Canada and the United States. We remain the job creation engine
of Canada," said Ecker. "We are confident that lower taxes will continue to
promote jobs and growth."
One million new jobs created in Ontario since 1995
November 19 2002 - Finance Minister Janet Ecker announced recently
that 20,300 net new jobs were created in Ontario during October 2002, bringing
the total to 1,008,000 over the past seven years.
According to Janet Ecker, Ontario's one million net new jobs account for
46.5% of the national total since 1995. Job growth in Ontario during that period was 19.6%,
compared to 7.8% in the US.
"There continues to be new hope and opportunities for people as we
promote new growth and new jobs," said Ecker. "We have put sound fundamentals
in place in Ontario to promote growth and prosperity and we are well
positioned for the future."
Around 80% of the new jobs have been full-time positions. In fact, full-time
employment grew by 20% in Ontario, compared with about 13% for the rest of Canada.
The Ontario manufacturing sector has seen a 29% increase in employment over the last seven years,
compared with a 16% increase in the rest of Canada. And jobs in the professional,
scientific and management services industries have shown rates of growth of more than 50%.
"We are encouraged by the province-wide nature of the job creation and
the fact that the jobs have been evenly distributed among men, women and our
youth," Ecker said. "Everyone benefits from job growth."
But an Ontario Task Force said that bold initiatives are needed to close
Ontario's prosperity gap. The Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and
Economic Progress is a group of industry and
academic leaders appointed by the Premier and chaired by Roger Martin, Dean of
the Rotman School of Management.
"A recurring theme in our research and deliberations is that
Ontario's economic performance is very respectable compared to most other regions
in the world. But our research shows that, compared with our peer group of US states,
Ontario has a prosperity gap of nearly $6,000 per person in the province. The Task Force
believes we can't be satisfied with that performance when we know that these
states draw on essentially the same resources as we have and achieve much
higher per capita GDP - which translates into higher wages and a higher
standard of living," said Martin. "As a society, it's as if we stop one step
short of the effort and investment required to raise our performance to match
The Task Force recommends that:
* Ontarians raise their aspirations to eliminate the widening prosperity
gap over the next decade.
* Investment in post-secondary education and machinery and equipment should
be increased. Martin observed that post-secondary
education is a key predictor of productivity and prosperity and that overall
per capita spending, especially in universities, in the US peer group was
double that in Ontario. He also noted that Ontario's investments in machinery
and equipment are generally lower than in the US. "The key question for
Ontarians is whether we are investing adequately for our future prosperity or
are using it for current consumption" said Martin.
* Taxes should be reformed reform. Task Force research
shows that Ontario's taxes, from all levels and sources, are higher than those
in a cross-section of the peer group states. These factors inhibit the
entrepreneurialism and innovation necessary to raise output and performance.
* All levels of government should recognize the
importance of cities in Ontario's economic progress. "We continue to be struck
by how powerful cities are in driving productivity and prosperity for all
Ontarians. Ontario has a lower percentage of our people living in urban
settings than in our peer group," said Martin. "Let's make sure we're not
standing in the way of the natural flow of people to our cities."