Reports & Presentations

2024 Manufacturing Workforce Report


Over 800,000 people strong, Ontario’s manufacturing sector is the heart of Canada’s economy, a living force beating at its core, hub of its political and economic relationship with the U.S., pumping to its regions the lifeblood of advanced economies – talent.

While the sector’s workforce has declined over the last two decades, losing 300,000 jobs since its peak in 2005, momentum has been regained following the COVID-19 pandemic. Driven by a low-carbon transition and Ontario’s remarkable position in North America, our manufacturing workforce is now poised to grow again. Manufacturers continue to add new jobs, and even when the overall job market slowed down in 2023, Ontario’s manufacturing sector witnessed a job increase of 2.7% year-on-year.

But regular consultations with manufacturers continue to reveal obstacles to growth. Over 70% of businesses that report labour shortages today said that they are having the most trouble filling skilled trades positions.

In this context, partnerships between manufacturers and educational institutions are more crucial than ever. CME’s 2024 Manufacturing Workforce Report outlines cross-cutting themes and charts a path for a multi-year engagement program between schools, regional stakeholders, governments, and the companies we rely on for the goods we consume and sell to the world.