Labour Force

Educated and Diverse Labour Pool

The city of Thunder Bay has an educated and dedicated labour force of 61,690 people. (Statistics Canada 2016). Our residents are cooperative, loyal, and committed to staying in the community. Absenteeism and turnover are low, and there are excellent labour/management relations. As of February 2018, Thunder Bay's unemployment rate was 5.8% which is slightly lower than Ontario's average rate of 6.5%.

Talent Pool

Talent Pool graph
Source: Thunder Bay CEDC

Thunder Bay's economy has been diversifying with jobs spread across the public and private sectors. The chart below provides an overview of the percentage of jobs per industry as well as post-secondary school enrolment.

Skilled Trades

Thunder Bay is home to many skilled trades people. Industry experts estimate that there are approximately 6,000 trades people in Northwestern Ontario who work in the Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional sectors.

Thunder Bay District has 480 active apprentices in the construction sector, and 1,379 active journey persons. These trades people are skilled in developing projects and maintaining equipment across all industry sectors.

Distribution of Active Members and Apprentices
 Building Trades Members and Apprentices
  Locally Active Provincially Active
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers, Locals 555 & 128 95 3,100+
Carpenters District Council of Ontario, Local Union 1669 556 5,200+
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local Union 402 270 15,300
International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Ironworkers, Local Union 759 265 7,400+
Millwrights & Machine Erectors (U.B.C.I.A.), Local Union 1151 100 3,200+
United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters, Local Union 628 392 6,000+
Sheetmetal Workers International Association, Local Union 397 275 54,550
Labourers International Union of North America, Local Union 607 750 100,000
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Local Union 1671 152 8,400
Total 3,711 162,950


As of 2014, approximately 40% of Thunder Bay's workers were part of a union. This provided the city with approximately 22,300 union members who are dedicated and motivated to remain working in Thunder Bay. (Source: Canadian Labour Congress)

Unions in Thunder Bay

Unions with Members in Thunder Bay


Talent Acquisition Resources

Thunder Bay supports their businesses in the search for suitable employees. Use any of the services below to connect with candidates in your industry.

Success Stories: TBT Engineering

TBT Engineering logo"TBT Engineering is poised for growth and is assured of an accessible talented and skilled labour pool to meet the growing engineering staffing needs. TBT has consciously created a work environment that is inclusive; recruiting, hiring, and promoting individuals of diverse ethnicity. Mr. Frenette [President, TBT Engineering] instills a value of inclusiveness by ensuring there are programs in place specifically designed to promote the value of ethnic diversity in the workplace."
Click here to read the full success story featuring TBT Engineering.


For additional information please contact the Development Officer at (807) 625-3960 or visit our Contact Us page.


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Why Thunder Bay

Technicians working in lab

Thunder Bay is Northwestern Ontario's commercial, administrative and medical hub.


“We ship every day… Plane leaves here at 5 o’clock every day. Our goods are in their owners hands as quick as 18 hours anywhere in North America.” - Owner, Cinevate Inc.

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