Economic Snapshot – October 2021

Key Highlights

  • Vaughan among top ten municipalities in Canada by value of commercial and industrial building permits at end of third quarter
  • Unemployment rate continues to drop, now within 1% of pre-pandemic levels
  • Manufacturing sales see decrease in September nation-wide, Ontario declines 4.1% from August
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to rise at record levels for third straight month; 4.7% on a year-over-year basis in October, the fastest pace since 2003
  • Ontario releases fall economic statement, with a focus on healthcare, infrastructure, and employment
  • Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing highlights two more Vaughan companies
  • FGF Foods acquires Weston Foods in $1.2 billion

Select Economic Indicators

Vaughan among top ten municipalities in commercial value of building permits

Statistics Canada data for the first half of 2021 ranks Vaughan seventh across municipalities by total building permit values, with a total value of $ 1.1 billion, as well as seventh by value of non-residential permits with a total value of $472.9 million.

Vaughan was third and fourth in the commercial and industrial markets respectively by building permit values for the first half of the year. Commercial building permits carried a total value of $406.4 million, while industrial permits carried a value of $58.4 million.

Unemployment rate continues to drop, now within 1% of pre-pandemic levels

Unemployment fell to 6.7% in October, reaching a 20-month low and putting it within 1% of unemployment in February 2020. In Ontario, the unemployment rate was a 7% in October, a drop of 2.7% over the same period last year. The Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Vaughan, had a much higher unemployment rate than both Canada and Ontario, sitting at 7.9% for October. Nationally, the unemployment rate among all those who belong to population groups designated as visible minorities was 8.1% in October, whereas the unemployment rate among people who were not Indigenous and not a member of a visible minority group sat at 5%.

After returning to its pre-pandemic level in September, employment held steady in October. Self-employment was the lowest observed since March 2007 after employment loss in October,

where 13.6% of all workers in Canada were self-employed, down 1.6 percentage points from the same month in 2019. The construction sector was one sector which saw virtually no employment growth in October, the second consecutive month of little to no growth. This coincides with declines of investments in building construction from the last quarter. Construction employed approximately 14% of Vaughan’s labour force in 2020.

Despite the easing of many public health restrictions across the country since the summer, the number of Canadians who worked from home in October (4.2 million) was only slightly below the level recorded in October 2020 (4.3 million).

Federal supports for employers and individuals through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, the Canada Recovery Benefit, and other programs, expired on October 23, which is expected to impact the labour market report in November.

Manufacturing sales decreasing across Canada with more pronounced decrease in Ontario

Manufacturing sales decreased by 3% nationally in September from the previous month, reaching the lowest level since May 2021. In Ontario, sales were down 4.1% from the previous month, and down 1.4% from the September 2020. The Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes Vaughan, saw a smaller decrease of only 2.7%, but was down 4% from the same month last year. Manufacturing made up nearly 20% of Vaughan’s real GDP in 2020.

Delays in the global supply chain continue to slow down recovery for many industries. In particular, the lack of computer chips, shortage of shipping containers, port congestion, and environmental disasters have presented serious disturbances to many manufacturers and distributors of goods. Supply chain disruption is expected to continue into 2022. Ontario’s manufacturing sales have been affected primarily on lower sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts due to the lack of semiconductor parts.

On November 23, Canada’s Semiconductor Council released a comprehensive action plan to transform Canada into a leader in the $7 trillion global semiconductor market. As the global chip shortage continues to wreak havoc on Canada’s supply chain and economy, the report, titled Roadmap to 2050: Canada’s Semiconductor Action Planlays out short-term, medium-term, and long-term recommendations to build Canada’s semiconductor industry.

Pace of inflation remains fastest year-over-year since 2003 for second consecutive month

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 4.7% on a year-over-year basis in October, the fastest pace since February 2003, a slight increase from the 4.4% year-over-year gain reported in September. Prices rose in all eight major components on a year-over-year basis in October, with transportation prices (+10.1%) contributing the most to the growth, the highest increase. for this component since March 2003. The increase in consumer prices for transportation was primarily driven by a rise in energy prices, which were up 25.5% year over year in October, primarily driven by an increase in gasoline prices