Economic Monitor – How data helps drive investment

By Wendy Stark

When a national or global corporation considers whether or not to invest in a region, the decision-makers want to know whether the community will be a good fit for their business. They look for information about the population, labour force, recent expansions and relocations by other companies and anything else that will give them a sense of the region’s prospects.

Site selectors look at a community in a slightly different way. When they evaluate a region, they typically look for ways to compare it to other locations being considered by their clients. They compare statistics like the unemployment rate, gross domestic product, employment in various sectors and growth rate forecasts. They use these comparisons to make recommendations to their clients.

To community organizations and existing Windsor-Essex companies, statistics are important for their internal planning processes.

Every month, the WEEDC produces an Economic Monitor that provides a snapshot of the Windsor-Essex economy including useful statistics. Some statistics, such as unemployment rates, building permits and housing starts, change every month; others, including the gross domestic product and employment by industry, change quarterly or semi-annually.

WEEDC regularly purchases data from Statistics Canada and from the Conference Board of Canada, and gathers information from various other sources including Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Service Canada and municipal administrative offices.

Most important, perhaps, are the forecasts from the Conference Board which provide a glimpse into the future of the region. All of this information is presented in the Economic Monitor along with explanatory notes, giving potential investors and community stakeholders a picture of the current economy and insights into what’s in store for Windsor-Essex in the next year or two.

You’ll find current and archived issues of the Economic Monitor on the WEEDC website: View April’s Economic Monitor Now


Wendy Stark, Economic Development Officer, Windsor Essex Economic Development CorporationWendy Stark is an Economic Development Officer for the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation.