Ontario Economic Report

Here's What You Missed

At a Leaders Luncheon held on Tuesday, April 17 we hosted Rocco Rossi, CEO and President of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) who gave an excellent presentation on the 2018 Ontario Economic Report.  Rocco discussed the decreasing levels of businesses’ confidence in the Province as well as in themselves, the skilled labour shortage, and the opportunity presented by the coming election to choose candidates who will foster positive change and a prosperous Ontario.


Business Confidence

“Ontario businesses are not only losing confidence in the Province; they are losing confidence in themselves.”

  • in 2012, 47% of Ontario businesses reported they were confident in the future of Ontario’s economy
  • Today, 23% of businesses report confidence in our provincial economy
  • 63% of those surveyed indicate that they are not confident about the economic outlook of the province due to the high cost of doing business

Organizational confidence is at its lowest since the OCC began measuring in 2012.

  • only 54% of businesses are confident in their organization’s economic outlook
  • the “confidence gap” between business’ confidence in the Province and their confidence in themselves in narrowing: in one year, the gap has narrowed from 38 points to 31 points:  businesses are becoming increasingly pessimistic about their own prospects

Members say that the rising cost of doing business in Ontario is hindering their future growth and prosperity.

  • 25% of small businesses are projecting declining revenue
  • the majority of Ontario’s businesses are SMEs
  • businesses aren’t expanding or hiring as much as they could be; instead they’re banking their cash against our province’s high-risk environment

“Deficits today are more taxes tomorrow.”


Although Ontario’s unemployment rate is reaching historical lows, that rate is deceptive.

  • more and more people are removing themselves from the workforce
  • 77% of Ontario businesses say that access to talent has the largest impact on their competitiveness
  • Of the new jobs created in the next decade, 40 percent are expected to be in the skilled trades, but only 26 percent of young people aged 13 to 24 are considering a career in these areas
  • there is an opportunity for business to get involved in the recruitment, training and preparation of the next generation of staff

It’s An Election Year

  • this presents an opportunity for change throughout the province and our communities: the potential to ensure Ontario’s business community can advance and grow, to achieve our shared economic goals
  • the OCC’s election platform, Vote Prosperity, brings together the Chamber Network’s extensive repertoire of advocacy work
  • Vote Prosperity identifies and qualifies four pillars of recommendations which, if adopted, will make for a prosperous Ontario
  • the business community can challenge candidates using this platform to determine whose goals align most closely with our own.

Our thanks to the Thunder Bay CEDC for their support of this event.

Special thanks to our Leaders Luncheon Series Sponsor:

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