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Toronto employment grows in 2019 as tech sector continues expansion

Toronto added more full-time jobs in 2019 to once again top the one million mark.
Toronto added more full-time jobs in 2019 to once again top the one million mark. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

More than 1.5 million people were employed in Toronto’s job market in 2019 as total employment across the city increased by 3.1 per cent.

The results of the city’s 2019 employment survey were revealed by Mayor John Tory on Monday following a tour of The Score’s downtown offices. Its office expansion on King Street West, thanks to the success of its mobile app, was used as a backdrop to showcase Toronto’s growth in the tech sector.

Meanwhile, according to the city’s economic bulletin issued early last month, Toronto’s unemployment rate is 6.7 per cent.

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A total of 60,408 people were employed in the Toronto technology sector in 2019. That’s a 16.6 per cent increase over 2018 and 84.6 per cent increase when compared with 2014. Currently, two per cent of all of the city’s establishments are in the tech field, which is an 85.7 per cent increase in about five years.

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“Looking at the research, you can see that these companies choose to locate in Toronto because Toronto is a tech centre that offers a diversity of education and culture that builds successful organizations,” said Tory.

Tory said many of the tech companies have chosen to settle downtown but some are also choosing Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke and midtown.

While the tech job market continues to grow, the city’s largest employer continues to come in the form of office jobs. Nearly half of all of Toronto’s employees (48 per cent) are working in the office category. They’re followed by institutional jobs (17.4 per cent), service (12.6 per cent), retail (9.8 per cent), manufacturing (8.7 per cent), and jobs in community and entertainment (3.6 per cent).

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Both full-time and part-time employment also grew in 2019, with over 42 per cent of the city’s jobs falling within downtown and borough centres.

Tory said he felt the survey showed strength in every sector. But he said if there’s a challenge, it continues to be access to opportunity for people living in some neighbourhoods. He said the city needs to remain focused on improving transit to improve the ability of people from more remote areas to get where jobs are.