Located in southern Ontario, Canada, St. Catharines is the largest municipality in the Niagara Region with a population of 132,387. As of the 2006 Census Report, the employment rate for jobs in St. Catharines is at 57.3 percent with the unemployment rate reaching 9.7 percent. A majority of the jobs in St. Catharines are focused in the business services and manufacturing industries. The District School Board of Niagara account for 4,734 of the jobs in St. Catharines, followed by the Niagara Health System and General Motors of Canada. Most of the jobs in St. Catharines did not require residents to commute outside of their census division.
The city of St.Catharines is well-positioned along the QEW-406 highway corridor and, with its experienced labour force and skilled workers, is a central hub for the advanced manufacturing industry. In addition to the advanced technologies, the city is positioned just minutes from the U.S. border, making it a gateway to the U.S. market. The major urban centres of Toronto, Hamilton, Buffalo & Rochester, which contain approximately 10 million people, are a 160-kilometre radius of St. Catharines.
According to Statistics Canada, many of the jobs in St. Catharines belong to the service industry, in areas such as retail trade, hospitality, or professional services. However, a large percentage of St. Catharine's enterprises with more than 50 employees are also in the construction trade, real estate or health care & social assistance areas. Although manufacturing has been on a steady decline in the Niagara Region, it will continue to provide jobs in St. Catharines and support the City's economy.
Manufacturing has been critical to St. Catharines' economic vitality and has also contributed to an increase in the number of jobs in St.Catharines in the social & service sector by generating jobs at all skill levels.