Durham Region is located in Southern Ontario, just east of Toronto, on the Northern coast of Lake Ontario. Durham Region is considered part of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), although Oshawa, Whitby and Clarington are also part of the separate Oshawa Census Metropolitan Area. Durham Region consists of a number of towns and cities, the largest of which are Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, and Oshawa - all located in the Southern part of the region right on the Lake Ontario shoreline. Other notable towns include Port Perry and Uxbridge in Durham Region's central part, and Beaverton to the North, on the coast of Lake Simcoe. Durham Region's businesses are largely concentrated in the larger towns and cities in the South of the region. There are quite a few manufacturing companies in Durham Region. As a result, there are many manufacturing jobs, assembly jobs, and engineering jobs in the region. The share of healthcare jobs is increasing. There are many administrative jobs in Durham Region as well, but they have been hit particularly hard by the recession of 2008 and 2009. However, aVicinity Jobs survey released in May 2009 showed that hiring demand in Durham Region is significantly lower than in the remaining GTA regions. This is why many Durham Region residents commute to other neighbouring GTA communities. Jobs in Toronto and jobs in Markham are particularly popular, due to the relstively short commuting distance. Durham Region's employment market is strongly dependent on Ontario's automobile manufacturing industry. In particular, Jobs in Oshawa -- Durham Region's largest city -- are quite concentrated in General Motors (GM), as GM Canada is headquartered here.
Until the bankruptcy of General Motors in 2009, high wages paid to unionized employees there meant that these workers could enjoy a relatively high standard of living. Such jobs are much scarcer today than they once were, and the Canadian Auto Workers Union has had to make many concessions in the wake of GM's bankruptcy. The recession of 2008 and 2009 resulted in large-scale layoffs at GM. The Oshawa Truck plant was closed in 2009. This dramatically reduced the number of jobs at GM in Oshawa. Oshawa has tried to promote itself as a place to live and work, but has failed in most of its attempts to attract new business and other projects to the city core.The city of Pickering - located on the shore of Lake Ontario immediately East of Toronto's suburb of Scarborough - is the other major economic centre in Durham Region. The city is home to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, whose operator is accountable for the highest number of jobs in Pickering. Pickering is also home to many manufacturing companies. There have been long-standing plans to build a large International airport in Pickering serving the GTA, whcih should complement the existing Pearson airport. However, these plans have encountered significant vocal opposition from many local residents. The province of Ontario has designated Pickering and Oshawa as urban growth centre. Like in other manufacturing strongholds in Ontario, the provincial government is hoping to attract new employers to Durham Region who would create many green jobs.Whitby is a town in Durham Region, located between Oshawa and Pickering. The seat of the regional government is in Whitby. The town is currently home of the Canadian Headquarters of BMW, but BMW is planning to move those to a new facility currently being built in neighbouring York Region.