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Comparing manufacturing in Alberta and Ontario

Comparing manufacturing in Alberta and Ontario

Posted on: 8/25/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Manufacturing is a key component of Alberta’s economy. In 2016, manufacturers generated $16.5 billion of Alberta’s real GDP, or 5.7 per cent of the province’s total economic output. This is down compared to before the recession. In 2014, manufacturing in Alberta accounted for 6.1 per cent of the economy ($19 billion of real GDP).

How does Alberta compare to a place like Ontario that is known as a hub of manufacturing activity? The manufacturing sector accounted for 12.7 per cent of Ontario’s real GDP in 2016, so it’s a relatively more important part of Ontario’s economy. Ontario’s manufacturing sector generated 80.7 billion of real GDP in 2016, five times that of Alberta’s even though Ontario’s population is only three times larger.

The unique nature of the Alberta economy is apparent when we compare manufacturing to oil and gas extraction. Alberta’s mining, quarrying, and oil and gas sector (which does not include the manufacturing of petroleum and petrochemical products such as gasoline and plastic) accounted for 27.3 per cent of the province’s real GDP in 2016 ($78.7 billion) compared to 1.2 per cent in Ontario ($7.6 billion). So while manufacturing may be a vital part of our economy, it’s not about to replace oil and gas extraction anytime soon.

Real GDP by sector, graph​​

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