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May 7, 2008
Toronto’s steady employment growth reaches highest level in 10 years
Toronto’s overall employment hit its highest level in a decade last year with employment up 1.7 per cent, or 21,900 jobs, from 2006. The findings are based on the results of the 2007 Toronto Employment Survey, an annual survey conducted by the City of Toronto’s Planning Division, which has been collecting information about businesses and employment levels across the city since 1983.

“The results of the City’s annual employment survey confirm Toronto’s economy is competitive and strong,” said Mayor David Miller. “The steady job growth the city has experienced over the past several years is further testament to Toronto as both a liveable city and an attractive place to do business. However, Toronto’s long-term prosperity requires a healthy and diverse economy that is supported by targeted investment and sustained partnerships to ensure Toronto can compete globally to attract new business to the city.”

The Mayor noted that this approach is consistent with the goals and objectives of the recently-released Agenda for Prosperity, available at

The 2007 survey’s findings also indicate that the total number of business establishments in Toronto grew by 2,600 to 75,500 and that 53.9 per cent of new businesses are located within the Downtown, Centres and Employment Districts. The types of new businesses that saw the most growth last year were computer services, law firms, restaurants and fast food outlets. Overall, the sector with the largest share of jobs is Office (46.3 per cent), followed by Institutional (16 per cent), Retail (11.7 per cent), Manufacturing (11.4 per cent) and Service (11.5 per cent).

Now in its twenty-fifth year, the survey helps identify trends and patterns by employment sector and location. The results are used to monitor the city’s economic health, develop policy for decision-making, assist with economic development efforts, and provide background information for forecasting and the planning of City infrastructure and services.

“The annual Toronto Employment Survey is an important monitoring tool that allows the City to track and analyze economic growth in Toronto’s key employment sectors on an annual basis,” said Gary Wright, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning. “The Official Plan targets Downtown and the four Centres for substantial growth in jobs to 2031. Our survey shows an increase of 18,400 jobs Downtown and 5,000 additional jobs in the Centres in the past year. Since 2003, we have added 35,000 jobs in downtown Toronto.”

The City’s Planning Division collects information about businesses and employment levels across Toronto each year from May to August. Staff visit all business establishments located in commercial, industrial and institutional districts, and mixed use areas. Data collected includes the number of full-time and part-time employees, the type of employment activity, and the length of time a business has been at the same location. For more information about the Toronto Employment Survey, including the latest research bulletin, visit

Targeted and sustained investment is necessary to ensure Toronto’s economic climate continues to prosper. A report entitled Stimulating Economic Growth: Toronto’s Imagination, Manufacturing, Innovation and Technology (IMIT) Financial Incentives Program will be presented to the City’s Planning and Growth Management Committee tomorrow. The report makes recommendations about ensuring Toronto’s long-term prosperity by implementing incentives and initiatives to attract new businesses in the City’s key economic sectors. The agenda, and the report, are available online at:

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Barbara Leonhardt, Director, Policy and Research, City Planning, 416-392-8148,



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