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Work and Commuting in Census Metropolitan Areas, 1996-2001

By Andrew Heisz* and Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté*

This report is the seventh of a series that develops statistical measures to shed light on issues of importance for Canada’s largest urban areas. Using data from the 1996 and 2001 Censuses, this report examines the location of jobs in Canada’s 27 census metropolitan areas. It also analyses the modes commuters used to travel to work, emphasizing public transit and car (as driver or passenger) commute modes.

While Canadian metropolitan areas continue to be characterized by a strong concentration of jobs in the downtown core, employment grew faster in the suburbs of Canada’s largest metropolitan areas between 1996 and 2001.

Despite the decentralization of jobs in the metropolitan areas, public transit did not lose its share of commuters between 1996 and 2001. While more car traffic headed to jobs in the suburbs, a larger share of commuters heading for the city centre took public transit. The report also found that jobs in the downtown core were higher skilled and higher paid, and that earnings increased faster for jobs in the city centre.

* Business and Labour Market Analysis Division, Statistics Canada

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Date modified: 2005-06-01 Important Notices
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