1,000 more people are working in downtown Hamilton than in 2015

The numbers show a dramatic drop in creative industries. The city says that's just an administrative error.

Number of new manufacturing jobs in downtown Hamilton in 2016: 1

There are 1,037 more jobs in downtown Hamilton, 950 of which are in the professional/scientific sector. There are 101 new jobs in health care and social services. (Jim Young/Reuters)

There are 1,037 more people working in downtown Hamilton than there were in 2016, That's the biggest increase since the city started keeping track six years ago.

And while it's still a far cry from the city's target, one city councillor says this is evidence that downtown's revitalization continues.

There were 25,932 people working in downtown Hamilton last year, up from 24,895 the year before. That's 189 people or jobs per hectare.

That marks the biggest increase since the survey began in 2011. And it's a vast increase over 2015, when there were 195 new downtown jobs.

The city's overall economic development goal is 250 persons or jobs per hectare. But that's "a long-term guideline," said Coun. Jason Farr, who represents Ward 2. And this is still healthy growth.

"This is very, very encouraging," said Farr.

The 250 goal is "a barometer on where we sit in terms of our growth projects. The fact that we're getting closer, that's good news."

The report, which is coming to city council's general issues committee Wednesday, shows a sharp drop of 736 jobs in creative industries. The city report says that's just an administrative error.

In previous years, the report says, some jobs were reported in "creative industries" when they should have been in the "retail and entertainment" category. The latter category saw a jump of 1,089. Some of those are the former creative industries jobs, the report says, while others are new retail shops and restaurants.

Farr said that sounds right. "I haven't learned of any great job losses in the creative industries."

Here's the increase in jobs since 2011:

  • 2011: 330 new jobs.
  • 2012: 90 new jobs.
  • 2013: 435.
  • 2014: 250.
  • 2015: 195.
  • 2016: 1,037.

Other highlights:

  • The biggest increase was retail and entertainment with 1,089 new jobs. While some are the former creative industries miscalculation, existing businesses hired more people, the report says. There were also "many new retail vendors including numerous restaurants."
  • 69 per cent of downtown jobs (17,834) are full time. 26 per cent are part time (6,652) and five per cent (1,446) are seasonal.
  • The largest growth was in the "professional/scientific" category with 950 new jobs.
  • There were 439 new jobs in finance, insurance and real estate, 101 in health care and social services, 522 in government and 58 in the non-profit sector.
  • There was one new manufacturing job.
  • In addition to 736 fewer jobs in creative industries, there was a drop of 23 jobs in education and 1,366 in "other."

samantha.craggs@cbc.ca | @SamCraggsCBC