Employment growth in Quebec was on par with the national average of 1.7%, while in Ontario, it increased at a below-average rate of 1.5% a year. Ontario's pace was well below the 2.4% annual average gain between 1996 and 2001.
While there were strong employment gains in the service sector and construction, large-scale decreases in manufacturing dampened overall growth in both provinces.
Hardest hit was Quebec's textile industry, which experienced declines of 20,700 in cut and sew clothing manufacturing between 2001 and 2006, as well as an additional 4,700 in fabric mills. In Ontario, the cut and sew clothing industry shed over 7,300 workers.
Both Ontario and Quebec also saw a number of declines in manufacturing industries that produced products related to the computer and telecommunications sector (CT).
Employment in CT manufacturing fell by an average 5.2% each year between 2001 and 2006 in Ontario, with losses totalling 15,300. In Quebec, the industry contracted by 6.4% annually. Total losses in Quebec amounted to 9,900 over the five-year period.
On the other hand, Ontario got a big boost in employment from the 76,500 workers who were added in health care and social assistance, for an average annual growth of 2.8% from 2001 to 2006. In 2006, there were also 57,900 more workers in educational services in Ontario, equal to an average yearly growth of 3.0%.
In Quebec, the health care and social assistance industry experienced a large gain of 67,800 workers, the equivalent of a 3.5% average annual increase. Retail trade in Quebec gained nearly 55,200 more workers, for a growth of 2.7% a year on average.
Employment growth in the construction industry was strong in Ontario, where it increased by 49,100 or 3.0% per year, on average. In Quebec, construction growth was even stronger, rising by 38,200, or 4.7%.