Employment in Ontario increased by 10,600 jobs in March and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5 per cent, the lowest it has been since July 2000.
Over the past three years, Ontario’s economy has outperformed all G7 countries in terms of real GDP growth. Exports and business investments have increased, and Ontario’s unemployment rate has been below the national average each month for almost three years. However the numbers do not tell the whole story. Many people are facing uncertainty and challenges. The government knows that more must be done to ensure that the benefits of a growing economy are shared fairly across the province.
This includes raising the minimum wage to $14 an hour on January 1, ensuring part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introducing paid sick days for every worker, and enabling at least three weeks’ vacation after five years with the same employer.
Ontario’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, a government release said.
- Ontario has added more than 800,000 net new jobs since the recession. Last year, employment increased by 128,400, which is equivalent to almost 500 new jobs, on average, per working day.
- Employment growth has occurred in many regions across the province; year-over-year increases include Stratford-Bruce Peninsula (7.3 per cent), Toronto (3.4 per cent) and Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula (2.3 per cent).
- The March employment increase was led by monthly gains in the Public Administration (8,700) and Construction (6,700) sectors.
- Private-sector forecasters, on average, have estimated that Ontario real GDP increased by 2.8 per cent in 2017.
- The government is choosing to make new investments of $20.3 billion over the next three years to support vital public services that people in Ontario rely on, focusing on priority areas such as health care, education, child care, seniors, social services, growing the economy and creating good jobs.