Canadian Manufacturing

Manufacturing remains crucial to provincial growth

New report predicts the sector will “punch above it’s weight” for the next two years.



TORONTO: Ontario’s manufacturing sector will power a disproportionate share of new jobs, GDP and exports for the provincial economy in 2011 and 2012, according to a recent report.

Released by the Ontario Manufacturing Council (OMC), a body of industry and labour heavyweights created by the provincial government, the report says provincial manufacturing shipments grew 14 per cent in 2010 (based on fall 2010 data) and 10,000 manufacturing jobs were created.

Manufacturing exports from Ontario grew 15 per cent.

“This recovery is proving not only the resiliency of Ontario manufacturers but how important manufacturing is as an anchor of value creation and high paying jobs across all sectors of the Ontario economy,” said Jayson Myers, president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and vice-chair of the OMC.

The automotive sector accounted for 15 per cent of direct manufacturing output as motor vehicle assembly in Ontario rebounded by almost 50 per cent in 2010.

The OMC study also presents new evidence based on analysis performed by the Centre for Spatial Economics regarding the importance of manufacturing to overall economic performance.

Nine sectors of Ontario’s economy depend on manufacturing for more than 15 per cent of total sales. The report estimates that each $1-billion increase in export-bound manufacturing output generates 16,545 jobs in Ontario, many of which are in non-manufacturing sectors.

Robin Somerville, economist at the Centre for Spatial Economics, says Ontario’s manufacturing sector will punch well above its weight in 2011 and 2012, predicting it will account for about one-third of Ontario’s GDP growth, one-quarter of new jobs and three-quarters of new exports.

“It’s a mistaken stereotype that manufacturing is a fading, ‘smokestack’ industry,” said Jim Stanford, economist with the Canadian Auto Workers and also a vice-chair at OMC. “Manufacturing has a vital structural importance and it’s essential to Ontario’s overall prosperity that manufacturing continue to fulfill this role.”

The full report, “A Better Year for Ontario Manufacturing,” is downloadable.

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