Kitchener, Ontario, is the largest municipality in Waterloo Region. Located in the geographic heart of the region, it is home to 225,000 people. Kitchener has an extraordinarily dynamic metropolitan economy supporting high levels of research and developing spending. In contrast to many urban economies, the goods sector in Kitchener's economy has remained remarkably competitive - constituting over 35 percent of jobs in Kitchener - the second highest in the country. At the same time, the economy is rapidly expanding, largely due to innovative firms in emerging clusters such as Information Technology, and Education and Knowledge Creation. Other emerging sectors in Kitchener include arts and culture, clean technology, digital media, education and knowledge creation, and life sciences.
Across all the city's industries, innovation is the key to its future ability to compete in global markets and as such, the hiring demand for innovation is increasing in the number of jobs in Kitchener, and is something the City plans to focus on in creating jobs in Kitchener. The unemployment rate as of June 2010 for jobs in Kitchener is at 7.9 percent, which is much higher than the City's average unemployment rate before the recession.
An aging population will create workforce shortages and thus attracting and retaining talented and skilled workers will become a major challenge for growing companies and regions. However, this has the potential to create jobs in Kitchener once the older employees retire. Investments such as Kitchener's $30 million investment in the university of Waterloo Health Sciences Campus in Downtown Kitchener will attract and be a catalyst for Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology. Also, Kitchener's Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc., received a $20.8 million grant from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The grant will go towards research and development, and upgrading of its existing facility. As such, the investment is expected to create 50 new jobs in Kitchener and retain 53 existing jobs in Kitchener.