During the years 1996-2006, the City of Waterloo's population increased by 25% and the growth will likely continue. According to the 2006 Census, the largest proportion of the population of Waterloo is between the ages of 25 and 44, indicating a strong available workforce. The next highest proportion of the population is between the ages of 45 and 65, meaning that jobs in Waterloo among the health care sector will increase in short-term future years, as people in this age group grow older. As of 2006, the City of Waterloo had an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent with an employment rate of 68.0 percent. As of 2006, the total number of jobs in Waterloo was 58,842, which is an increase of 19.3 percent over 2001. The largest proportion of jobs in Waterloo is in manufacturing (19%), followed by educational services (12.6%) and retail (10.5%). The industrial sector with the largest labour growth during the 2001-2006 period was the professional, scientific and technical service sectors, requiring a highly educated workforce. The City of Waterloo's 10-Year Economic Development Strategy 2008-2017 indicates that Waterloo has a diverse economy with strengths in multiple sectors.
The City of Waterloo's 10-Year Economic Development Strategy 2008-2017 also indicates that the City of Waterloo has particular strengths in the finance & insurance, professional, scientific & technical services, and educational service sectors.
The City has more than double the provincial percentage (6.1%) of workers in the educational services sector at 12.5%. Because Waterloo is home to Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo, and has a Conestoga College campus, these institutions have created strength in educational services for Waterloo's economy which outpaces the Regional labour percentage of 6.9 percent in this sector. To add, the Finance and Insurance sector has a much higher proportion (8.4%) of jobs in Waterloo than either the Region (5.3%) or the province (4.8%). As also outlined in the City's Economic Development Strategy, the professional, scientific and professional services sector is the largest growth area for Waterloo's labour force; representing 8.5 percent of the City's total labour force.
Currently, Equitrac Corporation, a U.S.-based print management software company, is expanding its Waterloo office and currently hiring. The company has approximately 100 jobs in Waterloo.
To conclude, the educational attainment for the City of Waterloo makes the City well positioned to attract businesses that require a highly-educated workforce, with just under 30% of Waterloo residents holding a university degree with a bachelor's degree or higher (as of 2011).