indicatorThe Owl

Manufacturing starts the year with a bang

Employment growth in the sector has, however, been sluggish

By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 15 March 2023 1 min read

After posting two back-to-back declines, manufacturing revenues jumped sharply to a record high in January.

According to new Statistics Canada data, the value of seasonally-adjusted manufacturing shipments in Alberta soared $996 million (+11.5%) to reach $9.7 billion in January. This is the largest monthly increase since the current data series began in 1992.

While revenues across most of the sub-sectors rose in value, they were led by refined petroleum products (+25.7%), chemicals (+17.3%), and food (+5.8%) manufacturing. What makes these increases even more notable is that they came without much support from industrial prices in the month.

National sales grew by $2.9 billion (+4.1%) in the month with nearly 90% of the gain coming from Ontario and Alberta.

Relative to January 2022, the value of factory shipments in Alberta was up by $1.7 billion—the second highest increase in the country after Ontario (+$5.3 billion).

Note, however, that the solid growth in revenues for this sector has not been reflected in its job numbers. After accounting for seasonality, manufacturing employment in Alberta only surpassed its pre-pandemic level in February 2023.

Answer to the previous trivia question: ​​​​​​The Canadian government lowered the federal voting age from 21 to 18 in 1970.

Today’s trivia question: Who is credited with designing the first industrial steam engine?

Manufacturing sales in Alberta reached a new peak in January 2023

Manufacturing sales in Alberta reached a new peak in January 2023


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