Major City Insights: Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo—July 2021

The Conference Board of Canada, July 13, 2021
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Climbing vaccination rates mean cities across Canada are poised to bounce back from COVID-19-induced recessions this year. Hot housing markets and pent-up demand for in-person shopping, eating in restaurants, and travel will all help fuel the economic recovery.

This edition of Major City Insights provides our new forecast for growth in Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo as of June 3, 2021.

Document Highlights

  • COVID-19 slammed an already-slowing economy in the Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo area last year, but prospects are brightening as vaccines roll out, pandemic caseloads ease, and business conditions improve.
  • Local GDP will expand by 6.2 per cent this year and regain its pre-pandemic output level, then rise 3.9 per cent in 2022.
  • The local job market is set for improvement following last year’s unprecedented loss of 16,500 jobs, roughly 5 per cent of total employment.
  • Employment to rise by roughly 13,400 jobs (4.4 per cent) this year and a further 9,000 jobs (2.8 per cent) in 2022. These increases will leave employment below its pre-pandemic peak (hit in the first quarter of 2020) until late 2022, but still cut the unemployment rate to 6.2 per cent this year and to 5.8 per cent in 2022.

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