Economic Snapshot

Thunder Bay's Diverse, Changing Economy

Thunder Bay's economy is evolving, becoming increasingly more diverse, sustainable and competitive. Employment is growing steadily.

This is an exciting time in Thunder Bay as historically strong sectors in resource industries and manufacturing successfully blend with new, evolving and innovative businesses in knowledge, education and healthcare.

The city is preparing for exponential growth due to new mining opportunities associated with the Ring of Fire which is expected to bring thousands of new jobs and extensive development to Thunder Bay.

Work here, live here. Explore new opportunities as you enjoy this vibrant city and its welcoming community. Go To Thunder Bay. For Life.

Compares Thunder Bay to the rest of Ontario with regards to various economic indicators
Economic snapshot Thunder Bay CMA Ontario
Population (2011) 121,596 12,851,821
Population change since 2006 -1.1% 5.7%
Percent of population over 65 years old 17.2% 14.6
Percent of population aged 25-64 with less than high school (2011) 12.4 11.0
Percent of population aged 25-64 with postsecondary (2011)   63.4  64.8
 Total Jobs  57,879  6,182,578
 Job growth (2011-2015)  3.6% 5.8% 
 Unemployment rate (June 2016)  7.3  6.4
 Average hourly earnings  $23.00  $23.65
Sources: Census Data, National Household Survey Data 2011, Statistics Canada; Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) /, Labour force Survey, June 2016

Key Sectors

While still featuring historically well performing sectors, Thunder Bay’s economy is shifting towards more knowledge based industry. Key sectors for Thunder Bay include:

Community Profile

Thunder Bay Community Profile for Investors – Download this PDF from the Thunder Bay CEDC to learn more about demographic and economic information for the city.

Learn More About Thunder Bay’s Economy:

Top 10 employers

  1. Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
  2. Lakehead District School Board
  3. St. Joseph’s Care Group
  4. Lakehead University
  5. City of Thunder Bay
  6. Government of Ontario
  7. Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
  8. Bombardier Transportation
  9. Confederation College
  10. Government of Canada

Testimonials of local business

Visit the City of Thunder Bay website to read Success Stories from local business owners.

Community Profile

Thunder Bay Economic Data – This interactive website includes data on demographics, labour force, tax, quality of life, housing transportation, education, companies and utilities.

Thunder Bay Community Profile for Investors – This PDF provides demographic and economic information about doing business here.


Why Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay Airport

Thunder Bay is the largest metropolitan centre in Northwestern Ontario at 2,556 km sq.


“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. Watch the videos