As the geographical centre of North America and the largest metropolitan centre in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay's Census Metropolitan Area (CMA)* has an August 2011 population of over 122,000. With an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent jobs in Thunder Bay, according to the City of Thunder Bay, are most dominant in health care and social assistant, trades, and educational services. Industries representing zero jobs in Thunder Bay are forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas; agriculture; and utilities. By occupation, sales and services; business, finance and administration; social sciences, education, government services and religion; and trades, transport and equipment operators are where most jobs in Thunder Bay are located.
Historically, the city's location as a gateway to vast tracks of wilderness made it a strong participant in resources industries. Today, Thunder Bay and Northern Ontario are demonstrating the capacity to build and sustain a knowledge-based economy that provides a diversity of good jobs in Thunder Bay and academic opportunities. Thunder Bay has excellent primary and secondary educational opportunities. Lakehead University is one of Canada's comprehensive universities with enrolments of just under 10,000.
Thunder Bay's top major employers for jobs in Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Lakehead University, Lakehead District School Board, Government of Ontario/Mgmt. Board of Cabinet, City of Thunder Bay; St. Joseph's Care Group, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, Confederation College, Bombardier Transportation, and the Federal Government.
Situated near the Trans-Canada Highway, the Ontario/Minnesota border crossing is less than one hour south of Thunder Bay. The city has ready access to Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway lines, providing ample opportunity for jobs in Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay is also a one or two-hour flight from several major centres in Canada and the United States. Additionally, the Port of Thunder Bay on Lake Superior is at the head of an important transportation link through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway to Canadian, U.S. and international destinations.
According to Thunder Bay Community Profile, Advanced Manufacturing is evolving and using more environmental and social approaches. Bombardier Transportation manufactures transportation equipment for transit systems such as the Toronto Transit Commission and GO Transit. As well, the city has a skilled fabrication labour pool that is diversifying operations to accommodate increased economic activity in Western Canada. TBayTel, a full service telecommunications carrier operating a digitally switched fibre optic based network throughout the City of Thunder Bay and 21 surrounding townships, is Canada's largest independently municipally owned telecommunications company, thus providing the opportunity for many jobs in Thunder Bay
The Health Sciences sector represents promising outcomes for jobs in Thunder Bay as the Regional Health Sciences Centre is a world-class healthcare, training and academic facility. The Northern Ontario School of Medicine at Lakehead University will also pave the way for future research and development activities in Thunder Bay - leading to economic increases and opportunities.
With Thunder Bay's proximity to Lake Superior, the city enjoys very dynamic high winter wind speeds coupled with cold dense air, which combines to deliver a significant energy yield. As a result, the development of clean, green energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, water and biomass offer potential jobs in Thunder Bay and the attraction of industry and high technology companies.
* Thunder Bay's CMA includes: Conmee Township, Fort William 52 Indian Reserve, Gillies Township, Neebing Municipality, O'Connor Township, Oliver Paipoonge Municipality, Shuniah Township, and the City of Thunder Bay