Manufacturing employs about 1.7 million Canadians – just under 10 per cent of the Canadian workforce. However, when spinoff effects are included, about 27 per cent of all jobs across the country are tied to manufacturing. Manufacturers also provide secure and well-paid employment. Over 95 per cent of manufacturing jobs are full-time, compared to 79 per cent in all other industries. On top of that, manufacturing jobs pay 14 per cent more than the national average.  



In 2016, manufacturing sales in Canada rose 1.1 per cent to reach $615 billion – the second highest level on record. The increase came in spite of continued low crude oil prices, which drove down demand for machinery and equipment in the energy sector, and lowered the value of petroleum refinery output. Canada’s leading manufacturing industries are motor vehicles and parts ($103 billion) food products ($101 billion), coal and petroleum products ($51.2 billion), and chemical products ($50.3 billion). There are roughly 91,000 manufacturing facilities coast to coast.


Manufacturing businesses invested an estimated $15.9 billion in new capital in 2016, including $12.1 billion in machinery and equipment. No other sector of the Canadian economy invests more in M&E. In addition, manufacturers account for one third 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

Manufacturing is vital to the Canadian economy. In 2016, it accounted for 10.4 per cent of the country’s entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, when spinoff effects are included – like the demand for goods and services generated by that manufacturers, or the consumer spending from all the jobs created or maintained by manufacturers – then nearly three of every ten dollars in wealth created in Canada can be traced back to the manufacturing sector. 

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