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Economic and Investment Update – February 2022

Key Highlights

  • Vaughan among top ten municipalities in Canada by value of non-residential permits issued
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to rise at record levels, increasing 5.1% on a year-over-year basis in January for the first time since 1991
  • Unemployment rate increased in January for first time in nine months to 6.5% nationally
  • Manufacturing sales continued to rise into December – the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area led December increase, rising by 4.2%
  • Ontarians more likely to work from home all the time; nearly one in four reported working from home according to recently released report from Statistics Canada
  • Vaughan-headquartered Zoglo’s Incredible Food Corp. partners with grocery chains in Ontario and Quebec
  • Vaughan-headquartered Fastfrate expands into U.S. market with office in Chicago, Illinois
  • Vaughan-headquartered Danavation Technologies partners with LCBO flagship store in Downtown Toronto
  • Vaughan-headquartered Revolution Capital marks expansion into Southern U.S. with new Texas Office
  • Activate!Vaughan Smart City Challenge Winner featured on Canadian Business New Innovators Top 10 List
  • Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing highlights two more Vaughan companies

SELECT Economic Indicators

Vaughan among top ten municipalities by value of non-residential building permits issued

Year-end data looking at building permits released by statistics CanVaughan ranks 9th nationally by value of non-residential building permits, which includes industrial, commercial, and institutional permits. When looking at only Ontario, Vaughan is in the top 5 census subdivisions by value of non-residential building permits, ranking 4th after Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton.

Vaughan ranked 6th nationally by value of permits for commercial development, or 3rd provincially, only behind Toronto and Hamilton. Vaughan ranked 8th nationally by value of permits for industrial development, or 3rd provincially, ranking only below Toronto and Ottawa.

Pace of inflation continues to rise at record levels; rising to over 5% year-over-year

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5.1% on a year-over-year basis in January, the first time Canadian inflation surpassed 5% since September 1991. Compared to the same period the previous year, in January 2021 the CPI increased by 1% on a year-over-year basis. January’s increase is up from a 4.8% year-over-year gain reported in December. In Ontario, there was a 5.7% increase over the previous year, above the national increase, and at a faster pace than in December 2021.

Prices rose in all major components on a year-over-year basis in October, with shelter prices contributing the most to the all-items increase, seeing an increase of 6.2% over the previous year, the fastest pace since 1990. Food purchased from stores rose at a faster pace in January than in December 2021, up 6.5% compared to 5.7% in the previous month.

Higher production and shipping costs due to ongoing supply chain disruptions have contributed to the increase in the price of food. In addition to supply chain disruptions, negative growing conditions have led to higher prices for certain crops, also contributing to higher food prices (fresh fruit prices have increased by 8.2% year-over-year, and bakery products are up 7.4%).

Wage data from the Labour Force Survey found Canadian wages rose 2.4% during the same period, which means that on average, prices rose faster than wages and Canadians experienced a decline in purchasing power.

Unemployment rates rise in January for the first time in months

Unemployment rose to 6.5% in January, the first increase since April 2021. In Ontario, the unemployment rate was 7.3% in January up from 6.1% in December. Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Vaughan, had a higher unemployment rate than both Canada and Ontario, sitting at 8.8% in January.

While unemployment across all categories rose in January in Ontario, youth unemployment (aged 15 to 24) saw the largest increase from 11% from the previous month to 16.6%. Then unemployment rate for adult women (aged 25 and over) was 6.4% in January, and 5.4% for adult men.

Employment declined in Ontario slightly, down 1.9%, following seven consecutive monthly gains. Losses in January were predominantly in part-time work and among youth aged 15 to 24 and women aged 25 to 54. Industries most affected were accommodation and food services, followed by information, culture and recreation. Employment in the Toronto CMA dropped by 3% January 2022, similar to the cumulative two-month decline in December 2020 and January 2021 when the CMA was also under tight public health measures.

In January, the Labour Force Survey asked respondents whether they were planning to leave their current job, and whether quality of employment considerations were among the reasons for doing so. Fewer than 1 in 10 workers aged 15 to 69 (7.3%) were planning to leave their current job within the next 12 months. When asked to report the main reason for planning to leave their job, initial results show that at least 1 in 5 of those planning to leave (22%) reported reasons related to quality of employment, including low pay (15.7%), heavy workload (4.3%), and inability to do their current job from home (2.2%).

Considering members of groups designated as visible minorities are more likely to work in lower-paid industries such as accommodation and food services and retail trade, visible minority Canadians (8.5%) were more likely than non-visible minority Canadians (6.7%) to report they were planning to leave their job in the next 12 months and to cite low pay as their main reason for doing so (23.8%, compared with 11.2%).

Manufacturing sales increasing in Ontario in December, led by Toronto CMA

Nationally, manufacturing sales increased by 0.7% over the previous month in December, while increasing 16.6% cumulatively year-over-year. In Ontario, sales increased 1.1% from the previous month, and 12.7% year-over-year. The Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Vaughan, saw sales rise for the third consecutive month, increasing 4.2% to $10.8 billion in December, driven by higher sales of motor vehicles. The Toronto CMA saw an increase in sales of 7.1% year-over-year, lagging behind increases seen in other census metropolitan areas across the country.

In 2021, manufacturing sales in current dollars increased in every province in 2021. Sales increased in Ontario (up 11.3% from the previous year) largely due to higher sales in the primary metal and petroleum and coal industries, and the increases were partially offset by lower sales in the transportation equipment industry. Sales of motor vehicle parts declined nationally by 5.1% from December 2020 to December 2021. Sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts have largely been impacted due to the lack of semiconductor parts, caused by a global computer chip shortage. Food manufacturing inversely saw sales increase by 15% from December 2020 to December 2021. Manufacturing made up nearly 20% of Vaughan’s real GDP in 2020.

Ontarians more likely to work from home all the time; nearly one in four reported working from home

From October to December 2021, 39% of Canadians reported working from home some or part of the time – 21% of working Canadians reported working from home all of the time, while an added 18% worked from home some of the time. In contrast, in 2016, prior to the onset of the pandemic, approximately 1 in 20 employees worked most of their hours from home. In January, almost one-quarter of all Canadians (24.3%) reported that, at the present time, they usually work exclusively at home

Workers from Ontario were the most likely to work from home all of the time (26%), compared with 16% in British Columbia and 15% in both the Atlantic and the Prairie provinces. According to the Labour Force Survey, the share of people in Canada working from home has remained stable since August 2021, despite the easing of many public health restrictions. In January, The Ottawa–Gatineau and Toronto CMAs had among the highest proportions of workers who only worked from home, with 40% and 34.7% of workers at home respectively.

Those in urban areas were more likely to work from home than those in rural areas, regardless of whether or not it was all or some of the time. In addition, workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher were also more likely to work from home than those whose highest level of education is below a bachelor’s degree.


LOCAL TRENDS, INVESTMENTS AND SUCCESS STORIES

Vaughan-headquartered Zoglo’s Incredible Food Corp. expands into Food Basics and Marché Adonis in Ontario and Quebec

Zoglo’s Incredible Food Corp, a Vaughan-headquartered plant-based food company is launching into 157 stores across Ontario and Quebec, as a result of a new partnership with Food Basics and Marché Adonis. Zoglo’s products have been in distribution in over 700 retail stores across Canada, with additional representation in the United States and Europe.

Vaughan is home to a robust agri-food ecosystem from farm to fork, with 125 companies in food manufacturing, processing and packaging employing more than 4,700 workers in 2020.

Vaughan-headquartered Fastfrate expands into U.S. market with office in Chicago, Illinois

Vaughan-headquartered Fastfrate Group, a leading provider of asset-based transportation service provider, announced the expansion of Fastfrate Integrated Logistics into the U.S. market with the establishment of a new office in Chicago, Illinois.

Vaughan has a thriving transportation and warehousing industry to support a variety of other sectors and the movements of goods regionally, nationally, and beyond. Transportation and warehousing contributed $1.4 billion in local economic output in 2020, employing nearly 15,500 workers.

Vaughan-headquartered Danavation Technologies partners with LCBO flagship store in Downtown Toronto

Danavation Technologies Corp., a Vaughan-headquartered Internet of Things (IoT) technology company and provider of micro e-paper displays, announced another installation of their Digital Smart Labels™ into the brand-new LCBO flagship store in downtown Toronto, Ontario, marking their third installation in an LCBO location.

Vaughan-headquartered Revolution Capital marks expansion into Southern U.S. with new Texas Office

Vaughan-headquartered Revolution Capital, Canada’s largest invoice factoring company, expanded into the southern U.S. with the establishment of a new office in Fort Worth, Texas.

Activate!Vaughan Smart City Challenge Winner featured on Canadian Business New Innovators Top 10 List

Iris R&D Group, a winner of the Activate!Vaughan Smart City Challenge, uses data-driven software to help cities find and repair infrastructure issues in real-time. The company was profiled in Canadian Business, making their top ten list of Best and Brightest New Innovators, and were selected with a methodology created by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship to benchmark innovation.

Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing highlights two more Vaughan companies

Economic Development has partnered with the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing to promote Vaughan’s manufacturing industry by profiling local companies. Trillium is a provincially-funded non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of Ontario’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem.

The following two profiles were recently completed:

Previously shared: