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Young Families In Windsor Hit Hard By Auto Job Losses

Tuesday January 27th, 2015, 8:05am


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The former GM plant has been torn down. It closed in 2010.

A new report published today by the Automotive Policy Research Centre says that since 2001, more than 53,000 automotive jobs have been lost in Canada, 43,000 of which have disappeared from Ontario alone.

The report draws its conclusions from a case study of the Windsor Census Metropolitan Area, as well as data from Statistics Canada.

Among its findings, the report suggests that in Windsor, young families between the ages of 25 and 34 have seen the largest annual dollar decline of approximately $18,000 between 2000 and 2012. Those under 25 have seen the largest percent decline of roughly one third in annual income.

“Our evidence suggests that automotive manufacturing is integral to sustaining healthy communities and the economic prosperity of families, particularly in Ontario,” Dan Irvine, the report’s lead author said. “Windsor has long been recognized as the prototypical automotive manufacturing city-region in Canada, and best illustrates the effects of the restructuring of the Canadian automotive sector.”

In total, between 2001 and 2013, Windsor lost 11,900 automotive manufacturing jobs. While automotive assembly and parts manufacturing represented 1 in 5 full-time jobs in 2001, the ratio fell to 1 in 8 by 2013. This has reduced the automotive manufacturing industry’s overall presence in the community while still representing a significant proportion of Windsor’s labour force.

“This research touches on some key issues in Ontario today. It’s clear that automotive manufacturing plays a significant role in determining the quality of life for families in this province,” Charlotte Yates, Principal Investigator of the APRC said. “The APRC brings together industry, academia and government to help us examine how policy might ensure a competitive and sustainable industry. We are committed to investigating the impact of automotive policy making in Canada, and this report helps illustrate that the families who depend on the industry for employment suffer real economic loss if these issues are ignored, particularly young families.”

The full report, Local and Regional Labour Market Trends in the Canadian Automotive Manufacturing Industry, is available for download here.

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