The Region of Durham is situated just east of the City of Toronto in the highly developed and populated economic centre of Ontario that stretches from Oshawa to Niagara Falls. It is comprised of the urban municipalities of Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa and Clarington as well as the rural areas of Scugog, Brock and Uxbridge. Durham Region encompasses an area of approximately 2,590 square kilometres (1,000 square miles). The region’s population according to the 2011 census was 608,124 citizens. It is considered an increasingly diverse and expanding region. Durham is endowed with a young, skilled labour force and possesses all the utilities, transportation and social infrastructure associated with modern metropolitan communities.
The area was historically well known for the strength of its automotive sector that has undergone rapid diversification in the last several years. Restructuring and global competition have resulted in an overall reduction of automotive manufacturing employment in Durham. It is expected that this sector will trend towards advanced manufacturing in the future. This shift has partially contributed to the stagnating local unemployment rate of 6.4% overall recorded for the Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area in June 2013.
As the automotive sector continues to evolve, emerging labour market trends are expected to impact Durham Region’s urban and rural workforces. These trends have been studied and analyzed in the Durham Workforce Authority’s various sector studies and annual local labour market planning process.