With much of the economic attention in Ontario focused on reopening in the pandemic’s wake, it’s easy to lose sight of the long-term picture. While the pandemic was an unforeseen shock to provincial employment and income, it remains that Ontario has seen weak employment and income growth for much of the 21st century with the decline in growth rates settling in after 2005.
Consider this. From 1990 to 2005, total employment in Ontario grew 23 per cent and real per capita GDP grew by 17 per cent. However, even omitting the COVID year, going from 2005 to 2019, Ontario’s total employment grew only 15 per cent while real per capita GDP grew by 8 per cent.
In the case of employment, this pattern of slowing growth repeats itself across Ontario’s economic regions with a range that is alarming. Indeed, all Ontario economic regions saw lower employment growth from 2005 to 2019.