There is no doubt that manufacturing matters in Canada. The industry alone employs more than 1.7 million people – 10 per cent of the Canadian workforce, with wages that pay 13 per cent higher than the national average. Canadian exporters, meanwhile, employ about 3.6 million people directly and indirectly. In fact, one in every five Canadian jobs are dependent on exports.



In 2015, manufacturing sales in Canada reached $610 billion. While down slightly from the 2014 record of $619 billion, the drop was due to the impact of crude oil prices on refined petroleum production. Non-petroleum manufacturing sales hit a record $550 billion in 2015. Canada’s leading manufacturing industries are food products ($95.7 billion), motor vehicles and parts ($93.5 billion), coal and petroleum products ($59.5 billion), and chemical products ($48.6 billion). There are roughly 90,000 manufacturing facilities coast to coast.


Manufacturing businesses invested an estimated $17.5 billion in new capital in 2015, including $12.7 billion in machinery and equipment. No other sector of the Canadian economy invests more in M&E. In addition, manufacturers account for 42 per cent of all R&D activities in Canada. Nearly 60 per cent expect to increase their investment in R&D over the next three years.


Economic impact

The recent decline in oil prices and the Canadian dollar demonstrate the importance of manufacturing to the health of the Canadian economy. Today, manufacturing comprises 10.5 per cent of the country's entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It also has the largest multiplier effect of any industry, generating more than $3 in economic activity for every dollar of output.

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