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Local Labour Market

Greater Durham Labour Market

Once heavily reliant on automotive manufacturing, Durham is growing considerably into a diverse and potentially thriving market.  Read on to find out more about the local economy!

Key sector strengths of the Region:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agri-business
  • Film and Television
  • Digital Technology
  • Smart Energy

Advanced Manufacturing

GM HeadquartersDurham Region has long been a centre of traditional manufacturing in Canada, with particular strengths in the automotive, aerospace and automation sectors. However, as technology and other enabling tools have become more sophisticated, Durham’s manufacturers have moved to implement increasingly advanced methods, technologies and structures for developing and delivering their manufactured product to market.

The rise of the "advanced" manufacturing sector has created opportunities related to both the strengthening and deepening of traditional manufacturing activity in the region, and the enhancement or promotion of the region’s competitive strengths. This is a result of the increased level of skills found within a local or resident labour force.


Agriculture is the second largest primary goods producing sector in the region. Production includes various commodities with the top nine generating farm cash receipts of $227.4 million in 2012. This is represented by floriculture/nursery/sod, dairy, corn, poultry, soybeans, cattle/calves, wheat, field vegetables, and fruit.

The agri-food industry prides itself on embracing technology and innovation with some of the most progressive and skilled managers in the industry. Durham agriculture has grown from traditional commodity crops to include new biomass crops for the next generation of energy, biofuels and chemicals, as well as new crops to meet the growing demand from our ethnically diverse population.

As Durham Region moves towards a bio-based economy, opportunities will continue to develop for value-added products. Durham Region’s livestock breeders are world renowned for their quality genetics, which are found in many countries around the world. Food processing continues to expand in the region due to its proximity to market, safe, high-quality food inputs and complementary industry clusters.


Durham Region's rural scenery and historic landmarks are the "silent stars" in favourite film productions from around the world, where you can capture the perfect scene within an hour's drive of downtown Toronto and Lester B. Pearson International Airport. The diverse geography offers a variety of locations from quaint downtowns, picturesque bridges and historical buildings to rural settings, abandoned factories and rustic train stations, with both old and new sites covering a variety of historical period settings. The existing robust tourism industry also has a variety of amenities (restaurants, hotels, shopping) that support the film sector.

The film sector in Durham Region is supported by a rich labour pool of skilled and technical trades providing local expertise and experience, including but not limited to: animal handlers, catering, communications equipment, promotional items, transcript and script, props/set dressing, set construction, special effects, wardrobe, hair and makeup.

Digital Technology

Durham is within a 30 minute drive of downtown Toronto and is part of the GTA's interactive digital media cluster. Growing at a rate of 10 per cent annually, it is the third largest digital media cluster in North America behind only New York and California. By emphasizing digital education, Durham Region is a key player in this growth towards new technology in the areas of digital media, agritech, health tech, advanced manufacturing, clean tech and information tech.

Digital technology companies are drawn to Durham Region because of its stable and growing economy, skilled and reliable workforce, environment of innovation and collaboration, proximity to market, competitive business costs, high quality of life and affordable cost of living.

There are five leading post-secondary institutions with a presence in Durham Region, including Queen's University, Trent University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Centennial College and Durham College. UOIT and Durham College in particular deliver programs in gaming, business and information technology, computer science, electrical and software engineering, education (digital technologies) and information technology security.

Durham tech companies have access to local organizations that support start-ups and entrepreneurship through programming, mentoring, accessing capital and other services such as professional services firms in banking, accounting, and legal with experience in international markets.

Smart Energy

OPG DarlingtonDurham Region produces approximately 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity, and is a recognized energy cluster. Durham’s two nuclear generating stations set that cluster in motion. Out of the 22 Candu reactors in the country, twelve are located in Durham Region, and have a combined generating capacity of approximately 6,600 megawatts.

Representing a full spectrum of the energy cycle, Durham’s skilled labour force, transmission capacity, and infrastructure, are supported by research and development opportunities, along with specialized training and educational programs to make this a major energy cluster in North America.

Logo for Economic Development, Region of DurhamFor more on any of these key sectors, please visit

Doing Your Research

Understanding the Labour Market

Information is gathered on labour market (job market) activity in order to provide job seekers, employers, decision-makers and all levels of government with the information needed to make policy decisions at the national, provincial and local levels, and to provide employers with statistical data, demographics and other information on the current and future availability of workers.

What is the Local Labour Market?

The local labour market is simply the types and demand for specific jobs found in the area, categorized by field of work, whether demand in that field has increased or decreased, the typical wages for the field and the skills required. For employers, it will advise of the availability of workers, the types of skills, demographics and many other areas that employers of job seekers may be interested in learning.

Why do Labour Market Research?

In order to strategically and effectively conduct a job search or to determine if additional training s required, it is important to research, analyze and understand the labour market in your job search field. This is particularly important if you are considering paying for a course that is expensive and/or of a long duration.

Wages vary depending on the job type and responsibilities. You can use the Working in Canada Job Tool to help you find our the pay range for the occupation, the job description and the level of experience you currently have. This tool also provides information on predictions and trends expected in your field and can be cross-referenced to locations across the province and/or country. For example, the demand for Mining Engineers may be good in Sudbury, but low in Durham.



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