With a population of just over half a million, Waterloo Region is currently the fourth largest urban area in Ontario and the 10th largest in Canada. Waterloo Region is one of the fastest growing areas in Ontario and is projected to grow from 506,800 in 2006 to 729,000 people by 2031. Waterloo Region includes the three cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, and the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich. Known internationally for its leading-edge technology and innovation, Waterloo Region continues to earn its reputation as a forward-thinking community and an attractive place to live and work.
The top three industries representing the most jobs in Kitchener-Waterloo are manufacturing, retail trade, and health care and social assistance. In 2005, the largest private employers (350 employees or more) included Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (4300), Manulife Financial Canadian Operations (3,700), Sun Life Financial/Clarica Life Insurance Co. (3,248), RIM Research In Motion (3,000), ATS Automation Tooling Systems (1,800), Schneider Foods Inc (1,688), ThyssenKrupp Budd Canada Inc. (1,500), Home Hardware (1,200), and many more.
Despite recent changes in the manufacturing industry, this sector continues to be a major economic driver in Waterloo Region's economy, with 24 percent of jobs in Kitchener-Waterloo being in manufacturing. To caution however, since 2006, 10,700 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Almost 18 percent of jobs in Kitchener-Waterloo are part-time, with unemployment slightly rising to 5.7 percent as of 2008. However, unemployment among youth is much higher at 9.9 percent.
Senior population is the fastest growing demographic for the Waterloo Region, which will impact public health services such as clinical services and on services that provide support in activities of daily living such as supportive housing. Therefore, more and more jobs in Kitchener-Waterloo will be in the health sector.