John Clinkard, an economist with over 35 years’ experience in international analysis with leading financial institutions believes there’s a strong case for optimism in Oshawa’s economy.
“Since General Motors announced that it would be shutting down production at five plants in North America including its Oshawa plant, many have painted a gloomy picture of the future of what was once Canada’s Motor City.” Clinkard notes, however, that despite the steady erosion of GM’s employment base over the past seventeen years, total employment in Oshawa is now 36% higher than it was in 2002.
“Over the past year, total employment in Oshawa has risen by 4.9%, the fourth highest increase among Canada’s 33 Census Metro Areas. This increase in total employment has been driven primarily by solid gains in hiring among firms in transportation and warehousing, accommodation services and wholesale trade” Clinkard said.
Kyle Benham, Oshawa’s Director of Economic Development Services echoed similar points at a recent Development Services Committee Meeting. “There are roughly 70,000 jobs across the city, an increase of 2.8 per cent from last year and 10.3 per cent over the past five.” Benham stated.
The Conference Board of Canada ranked Oshawa as one of the most diverse economies in the country last year, and Benham says it has seen continuing variation over recent years. Health care is the dominant sector in the city, representing 18 per cent of all jobs. Education and manufacturing represent large sections as well.
Among his credits, Clinkard was Chief Economist for Deutsche Bank Canada, and Senior Economist and Director of North American Macro Analysis at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Photo: Oshawa GM plant from Wikepedia