Ottawa, May 4, 2023—Today, employment in Ontario exceeds pre-pandemic levels; several sectors that experienced employment contraction during the pandemic now face a strong demand for labour, as well as a need for workers with new skill sets. Manufacturing, construction, retail, and hospitality are no exception to this reality.

COVID-19 measures and changing consumer needs encouraged employers in these sectors to change their business models, introduce new products and services, and turn to digitization and automation to sustain business activity. These shifts now require some new skill sets in the labour market and provide new opportunities for satisfying careers.

ICTC’s latest report, Equitable Recovery and New Frontiers: Understanding Demand and Supply in Manufacturing, Construction, Retail, and Hospitality, provides an in-depth analysis of structural changes and pandemic-driven shifts in Ontario’s economy and labour market as the province recovers from the pandemic.

The report’s supply analysis unravels the impact of demand shifts on workers, specifically those most adversely impacted by the pandemic: women, youth, newcomers to Canada, and racialized populations. Leveraging the lived experience of Ontarians in these demographic groups, the supply analysis further uncovers barriers to participation and offers potential solutions for a truly equitable recovery.

The demand analysis provides an overview of structural changes over the last few years and information on the jobs identified as both in-demand and capable of offering career advancement opportunities for current workers and new entrants in these four sectors. More than 20 career pathways are provided across each sector, each clarifying the responsibilities of in-demand roles and highlighting critical skills and skill importance.

“Despite macroeconomic headwinds, Ontario’s labour market continues to be tight, with key sectors like manufacturing, construction, retail, and hospitality seeing strong demand for workers. Yet, evolving business and consumer needs inevitably means an evolution of skills across roles. Enabling a truly equitable recovery requires equipping today’s and tomorrow’s workers with employment pathways that reflect real labour market realities; this information helps workers secure in-demand jobs, upskill themselves with critical skills, and advance in their careers” - Alexandra Cutean, Chief Research Officer

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policymakers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 30 years.


To arrange an interview on this study or other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.

This study was funded, in part, by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.

© 2023 Information and Communications Technology Council

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