This brief will pick up where Filling the Void left off and provide a deeper understanding of the manufacturing sector between 2012 and 2018. Rather than compare manufacturing with similarly-sized sectors in Niagara, this brief considers the characteristics of the sector at present, in and of itself. The research question is thus: What kind and quality of work is available in Niagara’s manufacturing sector compared to 2012, and what kind of economic impact does the labour of manufacturers provide?

This change in employment in the major subsectors of manufacturing is analyzed using both the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the National Occupation Classification (NOC). The median wages for the most common occupations within manufacturing will provide a snapshot of the quality of employment for workers in those positions. Economic Impact is then considered in terms of exports from Niagara’s manufacturers. The disproportionate contribution to the regional economy from exported goods made in Niagara’s manufacturing firms present a startling and unexpected picture of manufacturing’s continued relevance. The brief concludes with a discussion on the long-term outlook for manufacturing based on these recent trends, and if our reliance on exporting manufactured goods, particularly to the United States, should prove precarious or sustainable in the face of increasing tariffs and uncertain economic relations.

Authors: Sean Calcott & Charles Conteh

Published By: Niagara Community Observatory

Publication Date: September 2018

View Shifting Gears Policy Brief

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