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Trends in manufacturing employment

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Canada lost 322,000 manufacturing jobs from 2004 to 2008, or more than one out of seven such jobs. In the rest of the economy, 1.5 million jobs were created, according to the Labour Force Survey. In 2004, manufacturing represented 14.4% of total employment; by 2008, that had shrunk to 11.5%.

Few manufacturing industries added employees from 2004 to 2008, notably transportation equipment (excluding motor vehicles and parts), petroleum and coal products, and computer and electronic products.

Some industries were hit harder. Textiles and clothing lost almost half its jobs, motor vehicle makers let go one in five employees, while motor vehicle parts manufacturers cut one in four positions.

Ontario lost the majority— 198,600 jobs, or nearly one in five of the province’s manufacturing jobs. Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia also lost more than 10% of their manufacturing jobs.