Some areas emerged as perennial best performers, in terms of having the lowest unemployment rates in five of the seven years. Others were perennial poor performers.
Nearly all the best performers between 2000 and 2006 were on the Prairies — the exception was Victoria. These included the census metropolitan area of Calgary as well as the regions of both Alberta and Manitoba that were outside metropolitan areas.
Alberta maintained its enviable position largely as a result of the prosperity brought on by the oil and gas industry and the increased activity in construction.
The regions with the poorest performance were the non-metropolitan areas of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, non-metro areas of both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and the CMA of Windsor.
The unemployment rate last year was lower than in 2000 in a substantial majority of CMAs and non-CMA areas. It was the opposite case in 8 of the 28 census metropolitan areas.
Ontario accounted for seven of these eight metro areas: Oshawa, Toronto, Hamilton, St. Catharines–Niagara, London, Windsor and Thunder Bay. The eighth was the CMA of Montréal. Unemployment rates rose in all of these areas between 2000 and 2006.
Ontario has been hit hard by reduced activity in manufacturing, high energy costs and reduced exports, due in part to the appreciating Canadian dollar.
The situation was similar for manufacturing industries in Montréal, where the unemployment rate rose from 7.8% in 2000 to 8.4% last year. Particularly hard-hit were its aerospace industry as well as the clothing and textile industry.