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Canada's Changing Labour Force, 2006 Census: National picture

Goods industries

Largest decline in manufacturing employment

On the downside, manufacturing shed 136,700 jobs between 2001 and 2006, equivalent to a 1.4% decline per year. Total employment fell from about 2,033,200 to roughly 1,896,500.

Losses in manufacturing were concentrated in Central Canada: Ontario shed 77,700 manufacturing jobs, and Quebec 56,600. This was the equivalent of an annual average decline of 1.7% in Ontario and 2.0% in Quebec.

As a result of these changes, manufacturing accounted for 11.8% of the total workforce in 2006, down from 13.8% in 2001. In contrast, the construction sector's share rose from 5.4% to 6.2%. The share for mining and oil and gas extraction edged up from 1.1% to 1.4%.

Canada's cut and sew clothing manufacturing industry lost nearly 33,000 jobs during the period, a 9.3% average annual decline.

Employment in the computer and telecommunications (CT) sector1 fell by 28,200. The high tech downturn, which began in 2001, was acutely felt in Ottawa–Gatineau, especially in communication and technology wire and cable manufacturing.

The pulp, paper and paperboard mills industries shed 14,400 jobs over the five-year period. These losses were concentrated in Ontario (4,600), Quebec (4,000) and British Columbia (2,200). Employment in the sawmills and wood preservation industry fell by 14,200, with roughly half of the decline occurring in British Columbia.

The lumber industry was challenged on several fronts. In 2002, anti-dumping duties were imposed by the United States on Canadian lumber exports. By 2005 and 2006, the U.S. housing market started to contract, further weakening demand for lumber. By 2006, softwood lumber prices reached their lowest point. Other factors hurting the Canadian industry were increased competition from other countries and the exchange rate2.

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