Toronto downtown with new streetcar

The financial services sector is the top private sector employer in Toronto and it’s continuing to generate strong growth, according to a report published Tuesday from the Conference Board of Canada.

The report, Toronto on the Global Stage: 2018 Report Card on Canada and Toronto’s Financial Services Sector, finds the sector generated 13.6% of Toronto’s economy in 2017, and accounted for 8.3% of jobs in the city.

The concentration of financial services employment in Toronto ranks higher than world financial capitals London (6.5%) and New York (6.4%).

Not only is the financial services industry a leading employer in Toronto, but it’s also growing strongly. According to report, Toronto ranks third behind Beijing and Shanghai in terms of job growth over the past five years. More than 55,000 new jobs were created by the sector in Toronto between 2012 and 2017, it says.

Overall, the financial services sector employed 274,525 people directly in Toronto in 2017, according to the report, and it supports an additional 284,659 jobs in areas such as consulting, accounting and legal services across the country. In total, Toronto’s financial services industry supported a total of 559,184 jobs in 2017, the report says.

Nationally, the financial sector directly accounts for more than 831,000 jobs, says the report, and it contributes 7.1% of gross domestic product.

“Financial services are also Canada’s largest and fastest-growing services export,” the report says.

“Despite its success, Toronto’s financial sector is operating in a fast-paced and highly competitive environment; thus, its future performance is not to be taken for granted,” the report cautions. “To continue being a source of growth for both Toronto and Canada, the city needs to continue to innovate and keep pace with trends in global regulations.”