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The business base of a community is an important criterion for any company examining location alternatives ...

Waterloo ranks well in such aspects as manufacturing diversification, workforce capability, employment levels, higher education, average hours worked, wage and salary rates, cost of living, responsive city government, low level of union activity and value added by manufacturing. 

There are many Waterloo-based companies in the development or growth phase, currently employing anywhere from one to three hundred employees. To balance the uncertainty that new ventures can sometimes create, there are a significant number of employees looking for older, more established companies. This provides significant security against economic fluctuations. 

By 2029, the City of Waterloo is forecast to reach 137,000 people (excluding students) and the region is forecast to reach a population of 729,000. 

Over the past 20 years (1991 – 2011), we have seen a significant increase in population, adding 27,599 people to the total population. From a regional perspective, the city’s growth has outpaced the Region of Waterloo’s population growth. The 39 % population growth rate for the city and the 34% growth rate of the region have both outpaced the provincial average population growth rate of 27% for the same period. 

The available labour force in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMA labour shed is approximately 273,000 persons. The workforce is widely recognized as being one that is highly skilled and productive, dedicated, conscientious and dependable. It is characterized by higher than average participation rates, low unemployment rates and an above average education level. 

Waterloo Region consistently reports amongst the lowest unemployment rate in Canada. In 2011, the unemployment rate was 6.6% compared to 7.7% in the province as a whole. In Waterloo, the total labour force exceeds 63,000, an increase of 19% over 2001, with a participation rate of 71.2%, clearly exceeding the Ontario rate of 67.1%. The existing economy is well diversified, providing a substantial base of existing employees, with a wide range of skills and services.  

Post-secondary educational institutions provide a continuous stream of new graduates to meet the needs of traditional industries and businesses, and an endless supply of graduates needed by the knowledge-based and technology-driven companies in the “new economy” sectors. Many of Canada’s brightest and best young people have chosen to study, work and live in the Waterloo area.


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