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City leads region in jobs

Oshawa also accounts for 24 per cent of all business in Durham

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

By sheer numbers, the city is the largest contributing economy in Durham.

The region recently released its business counts results for 2018, and Oshawa has both the highest number of businesses and jobs in the region.

There were 2,969 businesses in the city last year, equating to 24 per cent of the businesses in Durham Region.

With 54,831 jobs in the city, Oshawa also had 27 per cent of the jobs in Durham.

Of those, 34,233 were full-time jobs, 18,477 were part-time jobs, and 2,121 were seasonal jobs in 2018.

However, the total number of jobs in Oshawa was down from 2017 levels of 56,035.

In Durham Region, there was a total of 12,599 businesses in 2018, representing 200,291 jobs. Of these jobs, 128,849 were full-time, 61,492 were part-time, and 9,950 were seasonal.

The number of jobs in the region has been steadily rising, having gone up by almost 23,000 since 2015.

In 2017, the number of jobs in the region was 196,713 compared to 2015’s 177,563.

Whitby had the second most businesses at 18 per cent, followed by Pickering and Ajax with 16 and 14 per cent respectively.

Oshawa’s neighbour to the west also came in second in most jobs at 21 per cent, followed by Pickering at 17 per cent, Ajax at 14 per cent and Clarington at 11 per cent.

No other municipality in Durham Region exceeded five per cent.

According to the report, of the businesses surveyed in 2018 nine per cent were identified for the first time.

Last year, 83 per cent of the businesses surveyed were still operating at the same location they were in 2017.

Retail had the largest presence in 2018, representing 20 per cent of all businesses in the region.

The retail trade also made up the bulk of the jobs in Durham at 17 per cent.

The next highest was health care and social assistance, with the industry making up 12 per cent of the businesses, and 13 per cent of the jobs.

The industry with the lowest number of businesses was utilities at 0.26 per cent.

The sectors which represent the lowest number of jobs around the region in 2018 at one per cent were agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and information and cultural industries.

The report notes the businesses with the highest demand for skilled workers included the automotive industry, food services, health services, construction, sales and management, hairstylists, skilled trades, technology and design, and general labour.

For more information or to view the report, visit

The annual business counts survey is conducted each year between May and August by a group of seven summer students.