TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - August 31, 2017) - Ontario's job-creation and labour market performance ranks poorly when compared to other Canadian provinces and U.S. states, and it trails far behind other manufacturing jurisdictions including Michigan, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

"By almost every measure, Ontario's labour market is at the back of the pack in North America," said Charles Lammam, director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Measuring Labour Markets in Canada and the United States, 2017.

The study measures the labour market performance for all 10 Canadian provinces and 50 U.S. states from 2014 to 2016 using several indicators including job-creation, unemployment and worker productivity (the average value of goods and services each worker produced with his or her labour). Each jurisdiction receives a score out of 100 based on their performance on each indicator.

Overall, Ontario ranks 44th out of 60 jurisdictions with a score of 47.7 out of 100. By comparison, neighbouring Michigan-also a jurisdiction with a large manufacturing sector-ranked 25th overall with a score of 54.3.

Specifically, Ontario performed poorly on total employment growth with just 0.9 per cent average annual increase over the three-year period (ranking 33rd). Michigan enjoyed average annual growth in employment of 2.2 per cent, more than double the rate of Ontario.

In addition, Ontario had a relatively high average unemployment rate at 6.0 per cent ranking 43rd of the 60 jurisdictions over the same time period. Crucially, over the three-year period, an average of one-in-five (20.9 per cent) unemployed Ontarians were unemployed for 27 weeks or more-the highest rate among Canadian provinces.

And Ontario ranked 52nd out of 60 on worker productivity with an output-per-worker at just $108,271 (CAD). Michigan had an average worker output of $129,322 (CAD).

Saskatchewan was the highest ranked Canadian province at 15th, followed by British Columbia (17th). Delaware ranked first overall.

"Ontario is traditionally one of the economic engines of Canada, but in recent years it has suffered from weak job creation, high unemployment and low worker productivity," Lammam said.

"Based on Michigan's superior performance, Queen's Park can't solely blame a faltering manufacturing sector alone for Ontario's weak labour market performance."

Province Score (out of 100) Rank (out of 60 provinces and states)
Saskatchewan 59.8 15
British Columbia 58.9 17
Alberta 52.9 31
Manitoba 49.9 39
Ontario 47.7 44
Quebec 41.3 53
P.E.I. 32.5 56
New Brunswick 31.4 57
Nova Scotia 31.3 58
Newfoundland & Labrador 30.3 59


Charles Lammam, Director, Fiscal Studies

Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

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