Halton Region is located in Southern Ontario, Canada in the southwest part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), on the North West coast of Lake Ontario. It is located between Peel Region and Hamilton. Halton Region consists of the suburban Burlington and Oakville to the South, and the more rural communities of Milton and Halton Hills to the North. Halton Hills includes the suburban community of Georgetown. The regional government's seat is in Oakville. In 2013, Halton Region had a population of over 518,000 people, including a labour force of over 281,000. Halton Region's population is mostly concentrated in the region's South, in Oakville and Burlington. However, the communities of Milton and Georgetown are growing and are increasingly becoming more urbanized as well. Halton Region experienced a growth rate of 17.1% between 2001 and 2006, and 14.2% between 2006 and 2011, giving it one of the highest growth rates in Canada. In 2015, Halton Region was also home to over 13,250 businesses.
Halton Region's employment market is concentrated in suburban Southern part of the region. Jobs in Oakville account for over 40% of all employment in Halton Region, while jobs in Burlington account for more than 30%. Jobs in Milton and Halton Hills account for less than a quarter combined. In 2016, Vicinity Jobs recorded over 24,000 unique online postings for jobs in Halton Region, over 75% being for Oakville jobs and Burlington jobs. Halton region's unemployment rate was 5.3% in 2015, well below the average for Ontario and Canada. A Vicinity Jobs report issued in 2006 demonstrated that hiring demand in Halton Region had been dominated by lower-end Help Wanted type of jobs and administrative jobs prior to the recession of 2008 and 2009.
However, these types of jobs were hit disproportionately hard by the recession. Today, Management jobs and jobs in Business, Finance, and Administration account for a large share of the hiring demand. Halton Region's largest employer is Ford Motor Company, which has an assembly plant in Oakville. As a result, there are many assembly jobs and engineering jobs in Oakville. Because of the area's heavy reliance on the North American automobile industry, Burlington and Oakville's hiring demand was hit by the recession of 2008 and 2009 more severely than other communities but has since recovered. Like in other communities in Ontario that are dominated by manufacturing jobs, the government is trying to attract employers who will create more green jobs. The region's second largest private-sector employer is also a manufacturer: Maple Leaf Fresh Foods in Burlington. Healthcare Jobs account for a significant share of the local job market as well, with Halton Healthcare Services Corporation being one of the region's 5 largest employers. Many people who work in Halton Region commute from the greater Hamilton area. At the same time, many Halton residents work on jobs in Mississauga and commute daily. A significant number of Halton Region's residents also work in Toronto.