Corporate Site Location Market Report: Toronto Offers Major Demographic and Workforce Advantages

Reviewing demographic and workforce data is an important economic measure for a corporate site location analysis.  Regions with an increasing population base and a group of younger workers illustrate growing communities.  Homeownership rates and home value illustrate stability in a community but also whether it is affordable.  The percentage of citizens over 25 with a college degree illustrates the likelihood the region can attract high-wage financial services, insurance, health care, high-tech, professional service and other advanced services white collar jobs.  Measures of income and poverty rates illustrate the overall economic strength of the community.  Finally, growing regions add population and provide a larger workforce pool that is attractive to employers seeking job creation and making capital investments.  Regions that enjoy population growth in tandem with increases in their economic output address the challenges of income inequality.  Increasing a region’s population also raises the standard of living in a region.  

As the table below illustrates, Ontario is similar in size to many American states, has a like homeownership rate, college graduate rate, poverty rate and average age.  Ontario’s home values are substantially higher illustrating a higher cost of living and commute times are longer. 

Ontario Demographic Benchmarking

Fact Illinois Arizona Ohio Ontario
Population  12,741,080 7,171,646 11,689,442 13,448,494
Homeownership Rate 66.10% 63.10% 66.10% 69.70%
Median Home Value $179,700  $193,200  $135,100  $585,600 
Bachelor Degree Rate 33.40% 28.40% 27.20% 31.92%
Commute Time 28.7 25.1 23.4 42
Median Household Income $61,229  $53,510  $52,407  $74,287 
Poverty Rate 12.60% 14.90% 14.00% 13.10%
Median Age 38 37.7 39.3 41.3

Source: United States and Canadian Census Bureaus

Drilling down to a demographic analysis of Toronto as compared in the table below with Columbus and Phoenix.  Toronto is a mega-city with slower growth, older population, higher incomes and college graduates and unemployment rate.  None of Toronto’s demographic data points illustrate substantial economic weakness. 

Toronto Demographic Benchmarking

Demographic Data Toronto Columbus Phoenix
Population 2,731,571 892,533 1,660,272
Population Growth 2011 to 2016 4.50% 13.10% 14.70%
Median Age 39.9 31.8 33.8
Household Income $65,829  $49,478  $52,080 
Bachelor Degree or Higher 39.9 35.10% 27.80%
Labor Participation rate 64.70% 70.10% 66.10%
Unemployment rate 8.20% 3.90% 4.90%

Source: United States and Canadian Census Bureaus

A region’s workforce is a critical measure of attractiveness for a corporate site location project.  The retirement of the Baby Boom generation and a lack of alignment between industry and higher education are creating widespread shortages in qualified workforce even in times of high unemployment. 

Toronto Canada Workforce Profile

Jobs Toronto Toronto CMA Ontario Canada
All Jobs 1,437,545 3,144,140 6,970,625 18,268,120
Management 163965 376890 790880 2013370
Business, finance and administration  258870 576955 1124770 2874305
Natural and applied sciences  117635 269965 516110 1273660
Healthcare 84360 173475 447045 1245885
Education, law, social, community and government services 186800 357985 831340 2138445
Art, culture, recreation and sport 80195 127395 225720 557275
Sales and service  345145 735270 1632085 4265895
Trades, transport and equipment operators  131115 351735 927820 2668875
Natural resources, agriculture and related production 7555 24240 113405 416135
Manufacturing and utilities 61900 150220 361455 814285