Since 1983, Toronto has monitored the City’s employment by conducting an annual survey of businesses. The data collected is vital to monitor the City’s economic health, as well as aiding in decision and policy making. It is essential background information for forecasting and planning the City’s infrastructure and services for the citizens and businesses of Toronto. The Survey is a unique resource in Canada for the private and public sectors.

Throughout the summer, surveyors visit each and every business establishment in the City of Toronto. That’s over 76,560 locations. The surveyors collect information about the number of employees working there, and the type of work that is taking place. No other programme relates Toronto employment and land use.

Your Information is Confidential

The information collected is treated as strictly confidential. The data is only released to the public in aggregate form. This allows employment patterns to be studied without revealing specific information on individual businesses.

We Need You

The continued success of this important survey depends on the co-operation and assistance of the City’s business community. We rely on each business establishment to provide us with information on the number of full- and part-time employees as well as the type of employment activity taking place at each location.

Watch out for a surveyor at your business this summer and count your business in.

The 2019 Employment Bulletin summarizes the results of the 37th annual Toronto Employment Survey and provides an analysis of changes in Toronto’s economy over the past decade. The bulletin reports on key employment trends by sector, and on evolving employment patterns across the City and in Downtown, the Centres, Employment Areas, and Secondary Plan areas. This edition of the bulletin also discusses the growth and composition of the technology sector in Toronto.

Toronto Employment Concentration, 2019

Map 1: Employment Concentrations, City of Toronto. This map shows locations of all establishments in the city, with graduated symbols for establishments (1) having less than 100 employees, (2) having between 100 and 499 employees (3) having between 500 and 2,499 employees and (4) having over 2,500 employees.

Highlights

  • The 2019 survey counted 1,569,800 jobs, an increase of 46,920 jobs or 3.1 per cent from 2018.
  • Office employment grew by 23,470 jobs and 3.2 per cent to remain the largest sector in Toronto, accounting for almost one out of every two jobs.
  • The Institutional category experienced robust growth, adding 16,770 jobs and 6.6 per cent from 208.
  • The survey counted 76,560 establishments in 2019, an increase of 920 establishments (1.2 per cent).
  • 3,810 new business establishments opened in 2019, with 56.8 per cent opening in Employment Areas, Downtown, or in the Centres.
  • Toronto’s Downtown and Centres contained 666,980 jobs in 2019, or 42.5 per cent of all employment.
  • In 2019, 423,920 jobs were located in Employment Areas, or 27.0 per cent of all jobs in Toronto.
  • Employment Areas contained 92.3 per cent of all Manufacturing jobs in 2019.

Total Employment in City of Toronto, 1983-2019

Full and Part-Time Employment Counts in the City of Toronto, 1983-2019. This stacked bar chart depicts the annual counts of full and part time employees for the period 1983-2019. A long term trend increase in employment is apparent, with shorter term fluctuations corresponding to economic cycles.

Total Employment – 2009, 2018*, 2019

Employment Total Number of Employees Net Change Growth Rate Net Change Annual Growth Rate
2009 2018* 2019 2009-2019 2018-2019*
Full-time 1,008,380 1,147,010 1,178,940 170,560 16.9% 31,930 2.8%
Part-time 284,810 375,870 390,850 106,040 37.2% 14,980 4.0%
Total 1,293,190 1,522,880 1,569,800 276,610 21.4% 46,920 3.1%

Source: Toronto Employment Survey, 2009, 2018 and 2019.

*2018 employment totals revised in 2019 based on updated employer information.
Note: Numbers have been rounded to the nearest ten. Totals and sums may differ due to rounding.

A key feature of Toronto’s economy is the rise of its technology sector. In 2019 CBRE Group Inc. ranked Toronto as one of the top technology markets in North America, and the fastest growing. It also ranked Toronto as Canada’s top technology city. In line with this, recent results from the Toronto Employment Survey show evidence of the growth and spatial clustering of the sector, with both employment and the total number of technology establishments almost doubling within the past five years.

Proceeding from this, the Survey undertook a special investigation of Toronto’s technology sector as part of its 2019 programme. This investigation presents and analyzes the recent economic growth and spatial clustering of the sector, using data collected from the Survey, supplemented by urban economic growth literature, and interviews conducted with local technology firms to explore their locational preferences. Key findings indicate that the labour force, and access to it, are the dominant drivers shaping the technology sector in Toronto today.

The investigation is featured in condensed form as a Special Topic within the 2019 Toronto Employment Survey Bulletin, and is also available for download in full format.

For copies of Employment Bulletins from 2003 to 2018, please contact Hailey Toft by telephone at 416-392-8343 or by email at cityplanning@toronto.ca.

Toronto Employment Survey Summary Tables for 2016 to 2018 are available on the Open Data Catalogue.