We provide data and research on how to get into and succeed in Ontario’s Job Market

Learn more about job market and workforce development trends to inform your career and business development  in Toronto, Peel, Hamilton, Halton, York and Durham (i.e. the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area – GTHA). 

Job Market Trends
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Key Terms & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is Labour market information (LMI) ?

Labor market information (LMI) is used to monitor and forecast economic trends, such as occupation projections, wage characteristics, demographics, or recruitment methods. The goal of LMI is to offer decision makers, from business owners to individual workers to government planners, the ability to analyze or access analysis in a way that increases their understanding of the conditions they face.

2. Who can use Labour market information (LMI) ?

LMI can be used by:

  • Job seekers
  • People currently employed
  • Students and parents
  • New Canadians
  • Business/economic development
  • Entrepreneurs and trainers
  • Guidance and employment counsellors
  • Policymakers

3. What is a National Occupation Classification (NOC) code?

A National Occupation Classification (NOC) code is a number used to classify occupations or groups of occupations. Individual occupations will be 4 digits, while occupational groups can be 1, 2, or 3 digits. For example, HVAC mechanics are listed under NOC 7313- Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanicsNOC codes can be searched for by job title or NOC code here.

4. How do I find an occupation?

Employment and Social Development Canada has a valuable resource available for users that want to search for, and learn more about occupations.  Some great information that users can access include:

5. What is a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code?

  • A North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is a number assigned to each sector or industry. NAICS codes are 2-digits at the sector level, 3-digits at the sub-sector level, and 4-digits at the industry level. NAICS codes are also available as 5 and 6 digit codes.For example, HVAC mechanics work in both NAICS 23 – Construction and NAICS 238220 – Plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning mechanics.NAICS codes can be searched for here.

6. How do I find an industry?

  • In total, there are over 900 Canadian industries listed in the NAICS, each with a different code to identify the specific industry.  For a complete list of all of the NAICS codes, the NAICS structure, and related information, users can download the full PDF document at Statistics Canada – NAICS. Additional resources that users can access include:

7. Where do I get information about health and safety, employment standards, minimum wage and labour relations?

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is responsible for Employment Standards and has developed a publication entitled Complying with the Employment Standards Act (ESA): A Workbook for Employers. This workbook will assist you and your employees to understand some of the obligations and rights under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and its regulations. The Ministry of Labour’s website has information on many topics, including publications, which you will find useful.

Activity prior to unemployment: Main activity before looking for work. Distinguishes between those who were working (that is, job leavers, job losers and temporary layoffs) and those who were not in the labour force but were keeping house, going to school, or involved in some other type of activity.


Actual hours worked: Number of hours actually worked by the respondent during the reference week, including paid and unpaid hours. These hours reflect temporary decreases or increases in work hours (for example, hours lost due to illness, vacation or holidays or more hours worked due to overtime).


Age: Age is collected for every household member in the survey, and the information on labour market activity is collected for all persons aged 15 and over. Prior to 1966, information on labour market activity was collected for persons aged 14 and over. Beginning January 1997, date of birth is collected to ensure inclusion of respondents who turn 15 during their six month rotation in the survey.

Census Agglomerate (CA) is an area situated around an urban core of at least 10,000 people. The CAs in WDB’s catchment area are Cobourg, Port Hope, and Kawartha Lakes.


Census Division (CD) is a geographic region that has statistical data that is available for analysis purposes. Census Divisions in the WDB catchment area include:


  • Peterborough, City and County
  • Kawartha Lakes
  • Northumberland County
  • Haliburton County


Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) is an area of at least 100,000 people situated around an urban core of which 50,000 or more live in the core.


Census Subdivision (CSD) is the municipal level of geography.


Class of worker: There are two broad categories of workers: those who work for others (employees) and those who work for themselves (self-employed). The first group is subdivided into two classes: public sector employees and private sector employees.


Country of birth: The country of birth of the respondent. This is based on current geographic names and boundaries at the time of collection.

Duration of joblessness: Number of months or years elapsed since persons who are not currently employed last worked, provided that they worked at some time in the past.


Duration of unemployment: Number of continuous weeks during which a person has been on temporary layoff or without work and looking for work. Respondents are required to look for work at least once every four weeks, they are not required to undertake job search activities each week in order to be counted as unemployed. The LFS measures the duration of incomplete spells of unemployment, since the information is collected only from those currently unemployed. A spell of unemployment is interrupted or completed by any period of work or withdrawal from the labour force.

Educational attainment: Highest level of schooling completed. Questions relating to educational attainment were changed in 1990, to better capture the relationship between educational attainment and labour market outcomes.


Employee: A person who works for others. Employees can be subdivided into public sector employees and private sector employees.


Employment: Employed persons are those who, during the reference week did any work for pay or profit, or had a job and were absent from work.


Employment rate: (employment/population ratio) Number of employed persons expressed as a percentage of the population 15 years of age and over. The employment rate for a particular group (age, sex, marital status, province, etc.) is the number employed in that group expressed as a percentage of the population for that group.


Establishment size: Beginning January 1997, the number of employees at the location of employment (building or compound) is collected from employees. Responses are recorded according to the following size groups: less than 20, 20 to 99, 100 to 500, more than 500. The concept of location of employment approximates the concept of establishment used by many Statistics Canada business surveys.

Firm size: Beginning January 1998, the number of employees at all locations of the employer is collected from employees. Responses are recorded according to the following size groups: less than 20, 20 to 99, 100 to 500, more than 500.

High Growth Industries: High-growth firms are firms with 10 or more employees that have experienced average annual growth of at least 20 percent in terms of employment or revenue over at least three consecutive years. The minimum employment growth benchmark for high growth industries is 20%. The employment growth benchmark for no growth industries is 0%. The maximum employment growth benchmark for low growth industries is 5%.


High Growth regions: A region with a job growth figure of at least 100,000 new jobs over a  5-year period shows workers  that regional employment is due to employers’ expansion demand instead of replacement/retirement demand.

Industry: General nature of the business carried out in the establishment where the person worked (main job only), based on the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). If a person did not have a job during the survey reference week, the information is collected for the last job held, providing the person worked within the previous twelve months.

Labour force: Civilian non-institutional population 15 years of age and over who, during the survey reference week, were employed or unemployed. Prior to 1966, persons aged 14 and over were covered by the survey. This is calculated as the population over the age of 15 who are working or are currently looking for work.


Labour force status: Designates the status of the respondent vis-à-vis the labour market: a member of the non-institutional population 15 years of age and over is either employed, unemployed, or not in the labour force.


Landed immigrant: Refers to people who are, or have been, landed immigrants in Canada. A landed immigrant is a person who has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Canadian citizens by birth and non-permanent residents (persons from another country who live in Canada and have a work or study permit, or are claiming refugee status, as well as family members living here with them) are not landed immigrants.

Main job: When a respondent holds more than one job or business, the job or business involving the greatest number of usual hours worked is considered to be the main job. The full or part-time status and industry and occupation information available from the survey refer to the main job, as does information for employees on wages, union status, job permanency, and workplace size.


Median wage: The midpoint of wage earners in a given occupation. Half of workers will earn less than the median and half of workers will earn more. Median wages are often used instead of average wages, which can be susceptible to being skewed by large wage gaps.


Occupation: Refers to the kind of work persons were doing during the reference week, as determined by the kind of work reported and the description of the most important duties. For those not currently employed, information on occupation is collected for the most recent job held within the previous year. Occupational classification is based on the 2006 National Occupational Classification for Statistics (NOC-S).

Participation rate: Total labour force expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over. The participation rate for a particular group (for example, women aged 25 years and over) is the labour force in that group expressed as a percentage of the population for that group.

Type of work: Full-time or part-time work schedule. Full-time employment consists of persons who usually work 30 hours or more per week at their main or only job. Part-time employment consists of persons who usually work less than 30 hours per week at their main or only job. This information is available for those currently employed or who last worked within the previous year. Note: prior to 1996, full-time and part-time had been defined according to usual hours at all jobs, and those who considered their work schedule of less than 30 hours per week to be full-time work were classified as full-time workers. In January 1996, when the definition was revised, all historical data and records were adjusted to reflect this new definition. Thus, there is no break in part-time and full-time data series.

Unemployment: Unemployed persons are those who, during reference week, were available for work and were either on temporary layoff, had looked for work in the past four weeks or had a job to start within the next four weeks.


Unemployment by industry/occupation: The LFS produces information on the number of unemployed, the unemployment rate and the labour force by industry and occupation. The basis for these categories is industry or occupation of last job for those currently unemployed who have held a job in the previous year. It is important to note that no information is collected on industry or occupation of job search. Thus, these data should be interpreted with caution. For example, a recent graduate of law school looking for work as a lawyer in a law firm, may have last held a job as a waiter in a restaurant. For this person, unemployment is attributed to the personal service industry and the services occupation.


Unemployment rate: Number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force. The unemployment rate for a particular group (for example, age, sex, marital status) is the number unemployed in that group expressed as a percentage of the labour force for that group.

Wage percentiles: This is where wages fall on a wage band. The difference in wages can be attributed to the employee’s level of experience, education, or specific job duties. A worker new to the field will likely earn wages around the 25th percentile or below, while workers with many years of experience will likely earn wages around the 75th percentile or above.

Work: Includes any work for pay or profit, that is, paid work in the context of an employer-employee relationship, or self-employment. It also includes work performed by those working in family business without pay (unpaid family workers).

Year of immigration: Refers to the year in which the immigrant obtained landed immigrant status by immigration authorities.

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