Halifax, the capital city of Nova Scotia, is the economic centre for Canada's East Coast. Home to many diverse communities, Halifax is both cosmopolitan and laid-back, balancing a vibrant entertainment and arts culture with an easy going east coast attitude.
The population of Halifax is 403,200 with an anticipated growth of 423,000 by 2015. According to Statistics Canada, contributing factors to Halifax's population growth are an increase in the birth rate, inter-provincial migration and immigration - with immigration being the vital part of the city's future growth and success. According to the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) Nova Scotia's employment level will grow by an additional 1.9 percent, or 8,500 jobs, from 2010 to 2013. Large shares of these jobs in Halifax are driven by the Services-producing sector and in areas such as Health, Sales & Services, Engineering, Information Communications Technology and Business Services. A further 45,500 jobs in Halifax are expected to be generated by replacement demand due to retirements. Demographic changes, particularly the aging population, will work to increase demand for Health Services, but this may be dampened by public spending restraint. Employment in occupations in Primary Industries and Construction is expected to weaken over time and will present a challenge to the labour market.
As mentioned in the 2010/2011 edition of COPS, key increases for jobs in Halifax will be in Health (30%), Sales and Service (27%), and Natural and Applied Sciences (18%). Occupations supporting growth for the Health industry are Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Nurses Aides & Orderlies. Occupations contributing to growth in the Sales and Service industry are Retails Salespersons, Cashiers and Food Service Occupations. Jobs in Halifax supporting growth for the Natural and Applied Science industry are Information Systems Analysts and Computer Programmers.
Unemployment is 6.2 percent as of September 2011. Today there is a 31 percent increase in the number of jobs in Halifax. The number of jobs in Halifax continues to grow and has consistently outpaced the national and provincial rates. The Greater Halifax area has an exceptionally high level of labour force participation. In September 2011, Greater Halifax's level of participation was 70.7 percent. This rate is 3.9 percentage points above the national average, and among the top highest rates in the country. Greater Halifax possesses a diversified and highly skilled workforce with most jobs in Halifax being in the trade profession (34,700); health care and social assistance (31,600); Public Administration (18,500); Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (17,300); and Education Services (17,300).
The top ten major employers for jobs in Halifax as listed by the Greater Halifax Partnership are Capital Health, Department of National Defence - CFB Halifax, Halifax Regional Municipality, Dalhousie University, IWK Health Care, Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott, Bell Aliant Inc., I.M.P. Aerospace Division - Halifax, Staples Business Delivery, and BMO Financial Group.