Economic and Investment Snapshot – February 2023
- The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased to 6.3 per cent in December
- The national unemployment rate declined slightly to 5.0 per cent in December
- Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased slightly by 0.1 per cent in November following a similar increase in October
- The Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre experienced demand for consultations in January by Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, Retail Trade, and Accommodation & Food Services industries
- Vaughan-headquartered SCG Flowmetrix partners with Peel Region to deliver smart city infrastructure to the area.
- Vaughan-based not-for-profit Earth Rangers announced expansion into the United States
- ventureLAB secures provincial funding to establish an automotive-specific stream to its hardware accelerator program
SELECT Economic Indicators
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 6.3 per cent year-over-year in December
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 6.3 per cent in December. Grocery prices grew at a slightly slower pace in December. Year-over-year prices for food decreased marginally in December (11 per cent) when compared to November (11.4 per cent). The slowing price of groceries was offset by the price of fresh vegetables which increased 13.6 per cent in December.
Record employment rate for core-aged women in 2022
Core-aged (25-54 years of age) women saw a record employment rate for 2022 with 81 per cent of core-aged women being employed, the highest annual rate on record since 1976. In December employment rose by 104,000 workers with growth in employment being led by an increase among youth aged 15 to 24 years of age, which recoups cumulative losses noted for this group from July to September of 2022.
National unemployment rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 5.0 per cent in December, while in Ontario, unemployment contracted to 5.3 per cent. The decline in unemployment was the third decline in four months and the unemployment rate now hovers above the record low of 4.9 per cent recorded in June and July. In the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) – which includes Vaughan – unemployment contracted to 5.7 per cent in December.
Those working in construction rose by 35,000 in December with Ontario seeing the highest increase of construction workers (+16,000 workers). The number of people working in professional scientific and technical services increased by 23,000 in December. On a year-over-year basis employment growth in this sector accounted for the largest share of total employment across all sectors (+122,000).
Hourly wages for employees saw year-over-year growth of more than five per cent for the seventh consecutive month in December, up 5.1 per cent when compared with the previous year. Despite the increase, the rise in wages still falls behind the rate of inflation, decreasing purchasing power for Canadians.
Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased slightly in December
Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the inflation-adjusted value of goods and services produced in the economy, increased by 0.1 per cent in November.
Rising interest rates continue to affect activity at real estate offices, residential building construction and legal services. Of note, residential building construction activity has been affected, continuing to contract for the seventh time in eight months. November recorded a decrease of 1.8 per cent, the largest decline since May 2022. In 2021, the construction sector accounted for $3.94 billion of economic output and employed nearly 33,000 workers in Vaughan.
Transportation and warehousing increased one per cent in November, the third consecutive monthly gain. In 2021 Vaughan’s transportation and warehousing sector accounts for 1.4 billion in economic output and is critical to supporting goods movement across all industries sectors within the City.
LOCAL TRENDS, INVESTMENTS, AND SUCCESS STORIES
The Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre experienced demand for consultation in January by Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, Retail Trade, and Accommodation & Food Services industries.
ED’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship top five industries seeking consultations in January were:
- Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (35 per cent)
- Retail Trade (24 per cent)
- Accommodation & Food Services (18 per cent)
- Other Services (Except Public Administration) (5 per cent)
- Health Care & Social Assistance and Information & Cultural Industries (4 per cent respectively)
Vaughan-headquartered SCG Flowmetrix partners to deliver smart city infrastructure to Peel Region
Vaughan-headquartered SCG Flowmetrix, a leading provider of water and wastewater infrastructure monitoring solutions, announced that the company has been awarded one of largest sewer flow and rainfall monitoring projects in Canada from the Region of Peel. This multi-year Smart City project will include the installation of over 350 sensors throughout Peel Region’s sewer network and more than 30 rain gauges to monitor and collect data.
Vaughan is at the heart of York Region’s innovation economy, linking Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital (Canada’s first smart hospital) and the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) to Toronto’s renowned research hospitals and some of Canada’s top universities. Vaughan’s technology sector is home to other leading companies such as Mircom, Soroc Technology, SCIEX, Digital Realty, Wirecomm Systems and others.
The City of Vaughan is also a smart, sustainable and resilient community and a Smart City leader. The City achieved the Smart Cities Early Adopter International Organization of Standardization (ISO) 37122 certifications from the World Council on City Data. Vaughan is among the first cities worldwide to be certified under this new Smart City standard, joining an early adopter cohort of 10 cities globally.
Vaughan-based not-for-profit Earth Rangers announced expansion into the United States
Earth Rangers, a Vaughan-based charity that empowers kids and families to have a real and positive impact on the environment, announced its expansion into the United States. Founded in 2004, Earth Rangers’ mission is to create young conservationists by empowering kids to be environmental leaders. With nearly 350,000 members in Canada and growing, Earth Rangers programs are proven to increase environmental awareness and action.
Earth Rangers is in good company in Vaughan as a member of a business community that is transformative, ambitious and purpose-driven. The 2022 Vaughan Business Survey results reported that one in four (25 per cent) of businesses have implemented or are in the process of implementing a purpose-driven initiative, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), social enterprise, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and/or environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting.
ventureLAB secures provincial funding to establish an automotive-specific stream to its hardware accelerator program
ventureLAB announced in January it had secured $1 million of a collective $19 million investment to establish an automotive-specific stream within its hardware accelerator program, Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI). This funding was provided from the Government of Ontario’s Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), which is accelerating the development and commercialization of next generation electric, connected and autonomous vehicle and mobility technologies and supporting Ontario’s role as the manufacturing hub of Canada. This investment will help further Vaughan’s next generation auto sector.
Within York Region, more than 250 automotive-related companies support 15,000 direct jobs and 34,000 sector-relevant jobs. The Region is home to Canada’s largest independent automotive parts and electronics manufacturing cluster, most of which are located in Vaughan. Vaughan has over 50 automotive parts manufacturing businesses employing over 6,800 people, and over 190 motor vehicle and parts dealers employ over 3,700 people according to the latest York Region Employment Survey. The manufacturing industry, which automotive is a huge part of contributes $4.6 billion or 19% to Vaughan’s total GDP.
Vaughan’s automotive sector includes many globally recognized tier 1 suppliers, such as Magna International, Martinrea, Multimatic, Hanon Systems, Litens Automotive, IAC, and Woodbridge Foam Corporation as well as numerous tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers. A wide range of automotive products is made in Vaughan including driveline systems, fluid pressure and controls, hinges, brakes, seats, transmissions and many more.