Part 2 – Canada and Ontario

Post Period Changes

Based on information available for early 2017, changes in Peel’s economy, as assessed by changes in key economic indicators, remained mixed. When compared with the first quarter of 2016, conditions in Peel’s labour market were less positive than in the first quarter of 2017, as reflected in adverse changes most labour market indicators over the period as follows:

The average quarterly labour force (the number of Peel’s working age residents in the labour market) fell by 1.6 per cent or by 13,200 persons;

The average quarterly employment (the number of Peel’s residents who are working) fell by 3.5 per cent or by 27,600 persons;

All the jobs lost were in full-time positions, down 4.3 per cent or by 28,200 positions, while part-time positions remained relatively stable, up by 0.4 per cent; and

Peel’s quarterly average unemployment rate climbed 1.9 percentage points from 6.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 to 8.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.

The decline in quarterly average employment in the first quarter of 2017 was the result of weakness in the service sector. During the period January – March 2017, quarterly average employment in services was 6.5 per cent (41,000 positions) lower than that observed in the first quarter of 2016. This followed a similar service sector decline in quarterly average employment in the preceding quarter. In the meantime, quarterly average employment in the goods producing sector increased by 8.4 per cent (13,400 persons) during the first quarter of 2017.

In contrast to the decline observed in Peel’s labour market, Peel’s construction sector registered broad-based growth in early 2017. Based on preliminary data, there were positive changes in building intentions (the total value of building permits issued, actual housing activities (the number of housing starts) and housing resale activities.

During the first two months of 2017, the change in building intentions in Peel, as captured by the total value of building permits issued, were positive. The total value of building permits issued rose by 37.1 per cent when compared with the first quarter of 2016, to $594.10 million. A 104.9 per cent increase in the total value of residential building permits issued (to $459.88 million) was the source of the increase, as the total value of non-residential building permits fell by 35.7 per cent to $134.23 million . The increase in the total value of building permits issued in Peel was distributed across Peel’s three area municipalities as follows:

  • The City of Brampton: up 39.5 per cent to $424.36 million;
  • The City of Mississauga: up 16.4 per cent to $142.47 million; and
  • The Town of Caledon: up 303.3 per cent to $27.27 million.

Similar to building intentions, actual building activities in Peel, as captured by the number of housing starts, increased in early 2017. During the first two months of the year, the total number of housing starts[15] registered in Peel also increased, up by 62.7 per cent to 1,407 units. Growth was driven by the multiple segment of the market where the number of starts more than doubled from 413 units in the first two months of 2016 to 1,068 units in the first two months of 2017. The number of single starts fell by 25.0 per cent over the same period to 339 units in the two month period January – February 2017.  

Peel’s residential resale market also remained buoyant during the first quarter of 2017 with higher sales volume and higher average prices when compared with the first quarter of 2016. Over the period, the total number of residential resale units sold in Peel increased by 22.9 per cent to 5,972 units, while the average price per unit rose by 32.4 per cent to approximately $750,900 in January – March 2017. This compares with a 10.6 per cent increase in the total number of units sold and a 29.3 per cent increase in the average price per unit in the GTA.

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