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Hamilton by the Numbers

Discover data about Hamilton, Ontario on:

Development, Dwellings, Economy, Households, Residents, Business Climate, Workforce

Value of Building Permits

City of Hamilton – (CDN Dollars)

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hamilton, and the world at large, the value of 2021’s building permits broke all previous records for the City of Hamilton. The City issued permits valued at $2,128,166,392 in 2021, a 53.8% increase over 2020’s building permit values. Industrial permits in 2021 increased by 102.3% compared to the previous year, and commercial permits increased year-over-year by 85.6%.

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Value of Building Permits
Permit Type20172018201920202021
Residential803,770,785836,963,130862,400,068967,984,5311,312,607,868
Commercial116,251,917124,800,222138,369,667121,723,102225,871,546
Institutional/Government250,696,894149,998,645154,492,28931,767,94255,629,270
Industrial172,044,198140,016,829225,306,551242,848,809491,376,348
Miscellaneous21,381,62412,978,30327,953,18919,156,18042,681,361

Source: City of Hamilton

Click here for a detailed breakdown of Hamilton’s building permits.

Employment by Sector

Hamilton CMA – 2019 & 2020

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey reports on the number of people who are employed in the Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Annual data from 2021 reports that there were there were 408,200 employed residents in the Hamilton CMA. This figure is up 6.1% from 2020, and is less than one 1% removed from 2019’s pre-pandemic benchmark of 411,200 employed individuals.

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Employment by Sector
Employment Sector20192020
Wholesale and retail 6520060400
Health care 5660055500
Manufacturing4930046000
Construction2790038100
Education3310031000
Finance and insurance2690026200
Professional services3000023700
Public administration1370019400
Transportation and warehousing2060018100
Support services2060018100
Accommodation & food services2590016300
Other services 1610015000
Information & culture 1830012600
Agriculture 37001700

Source: Statistics Canada. 2019 and 2020 Labour Force Survey

Business Counts

City of Hamilton (CSD)

As of June 2021, Hamilton was home to approximately 15,714 businesses (including registered charities and not-for-profit organizations). Approximately 57.9% of Hamilton’s employers employ fewer than four people, and 76.2% of employers employ nine or fewer people. There are approximately 36,463 businesses operating without employees (i.e. establishments providing self-employment) in Hamilton.

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Business Counts
Micro (1-4 employees)9,102
Small (5-99 employees)6,308
Medium (100-499 employees)275
Large (500+ employees)29

Source: Canadian Business Counts, June 2021

Click here for a detailed breakdown of Hamilton’s businesses by business size.

Monthly Unemployment Rate (%) in the Hamilton CMA and Ontario

Hamilton reported a continued decline in its unemployment rate in June 2022, falling from 5.2% May 2022 to 4.9% in June 2022. Ontario’s unemployment also rate declined to 5.2%, remaining above the rate reported in Hamilton. When these data are paired with increasing employment rates and participation rates, June 2022’s trends reflect very positive labour market conditions.

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Monthly Unemployment Rate (%) in the Hamilton CMA and Ontario
21-Aug21-Sep21-Oct21-Nov21-Dec22-Jan22-Feb22-Mar22-Apr22-May22-Jun
Hamilton8.17.26.45.34.94.74.75.25.15.24.9
Ontario8.776.45.85.37.45.65.85.55.65.2

Source: Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey. Tables 14-10-0017 and 14-10-0378. Seasonally unadjusted data.

Monthly Employment Rate (%) in the Hamilton CMA and Ontario

Hamilton’s employment rate increased slightly from 61.7% in May 2022 to 62.1% in June 2022. In comparison, Ontario’s employment rate increased from 62.5% to 62.6% between May and June. The overall increase in employment rate at the provincial level is a strong indicator for continued employment growth in Hamilton over the summer months.

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Monthly Employment Rate (%) in the Hamilton CMA and Ontario
21-Aug21-Sep21-Oct21-Nov21-Dec22-Jan22-Feb22-Mar22-Apr22-May22-Jun
Hamilton61.161.861.861.762.362.4626161.161.762.1
Ontario60.760.660.961.461.659.460.960.961.562.562.6

Source: Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey. Tables 14-10-0017 and 14-10-0378. Seasonally unadjusted data.

Monthly Participation Rate (%) in the Hamilton CMA and Ontario

Hamilton’s participation rate enjoyed a slight increase to 65.3% in June 2022 compared to 65.0% in the previous month. During the same time period, Ontario’s participation rate decreased from 66.2% to 66.0%. This decline is a reversal of the trend observed between May and June of 2021, where Ontario’s participation rate increased from 65.1% to 65.7%.

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Monthly Participation Rate (%) in the Hamilton CMA and Ontario
21-Jun21-Jul21-Aug21-Sep21-Oct21-Nov21-Dec22-Jan22-Feb22-Mar22-Apr
Hamilton6665.766.566.666.165.265.565.565.164.364.4
Ontario65.766.166.565.265.165.26564.164.564.665

Source: Statistics Canada – Labour Force Survey. Tables 14-10-0017 and 14-10-0378. Seasonally unadjusted data.

Annual Real Estate Sales

(# of units)

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Annual Real Estate Sales
Quarters20172018201920202021
Q12,3591,5861,69420012702
Q22,9012,2402,68918713389
Q31,8671,9962,30031982361
Q41,9521,636197624382155

Source: The Real Estate Association of Hamilton-Burlington

Annual Housing Starts

Data for the Hamilton Census Metropolitan area (CMA) reflect an increase in housing starts in 2021, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2020 and 2021 there was a 22.0% increase in housing starts within the Hamilton CMA. Compared to 2017, 2021’s housing starts increased by 44.7%.

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Annual Housing Starts
Year201620172018201920202021
Annual Housing Starts 326928933616320434314187

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 34-10-0148-01

Click here for additional details on Hamilton’s Housing Starts

Average Daily Rate – ADR

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Average Daily Rate – ADR
201420152016201720182019
110.48114.74119.36129.2146.99157.01

Values in $

Source: 2019 STR, Inc. / STR Global, LTD

Opportunities Map

This interactive map shows all of our Community Improvement Project Areas, Business Improvement Areas, future Light Rail Transit investment, and Business Parks in Hamilton. Toggle the areas within the legend and see the associated description when you click on the highlighted areas.

Looking for specific data? Contact Adam Durrant, Business Development Analyst.