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Despite growth in the service sector, declines in manufacturing dampened overall employment growth in the province of Ontario between 2001 and 2006. Many of Ontario's industrial CMAs, in particular, felt the pinch of manufacturing losses.
For instance, Windsor's employment increased only 2.1% to 153,000 workers between 2001 and 2006, the slowest growth rate of all census metropolitan areas. Its unemployment rate increased from 6.3% in 2001 to 8.3% by 2006, one of the highest in the country. This was due in part to the importance of manufacturing to local employment.
Windsor had a 14% share of all workers in motor vehicle manufacturing and 10% of the nation's workers in motor vehicle parts manufacturing in 2006. It was home to 16% of the country's workers in metalworking machinery manufacturing.
Windsor experienced a decline of 2,800 jobs in auto parts manufacturing, an average of 4.8% a year from 2001 to 2006. The number of motor vehicle workers fell 5.7%, while the number of labourers in metalworking machinery manufacturing declined 2.2% each year on average.
In St. Catharines–Niagara, employment grew 6.6% to 192,400 in 2006. This city employed 5,300 or 5.3% of all auto parts workers in the country. Their numbers declined by 2,300, an average loss of 7.0% a year.
Bolstered by hiring in the service industries, employment in Oshawa grew by 12.8% between 2001 and 2006, bringing total employment to 170,000. However, Oshawa's largest employer, the manufacturing industry, suffered losses, declining by an average of 2.1% per year. Like Windsor, Oshawa is an important city for motor vehicle manufacturing. While the number of motor vehicle assembly workers increased by 1.8% per year over the 5-year period to 7,200 in 2006, employment in the motor vehicle parts industry saw an average decline of 3.8% per year, to stand at 3,500 in 2006.
In Hamilton, employment grew an average of 1.3% per year to 347,500 in 2006. Hamilton had just over 8,600 iron and steel workers1. This was 2,600 fewer than in 2001, which amounted to an average decline of 5.1% per year over the 5-year period. In addition, the number of Hamilton workers who make steel products from purchased steel also declined by an average of 8.7% each year, to a total of 1,200 workers in 2006.