Manufacturing a key driver of Alberta economy

Total annual revenue was up 7.1 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017, reaching $80.4 billion, but still four per cent below peak set in 2014

Just how important is the manufacturing sector to Alberta’s overall economy?

Some data released by Statistics Canada recently indicates it is a vital source of jobs for the province and a key in growing the economy.

“Zeroing in on Alberta, the sector’s total annual revenue was up 7.1 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017, reaching $80.4 billion. While much improved compared to the recession years, this figure was still four per cent below the peak set in 2014,” says ATB Financial’s Economics & Research Team in their economic update The Owl.

“After expenses of $76.7 billion, the sector’s profit was up by a solid 13.1 per cent, hitting $12.6 billion in 2018. As with revenue, profit was still below the pre-recession record by 3.3 per cent.”

ATB says the sector paid out $8.5 billion in wages to 131,371 employees in 2018. Expenditure on wages was up 6.3 per cent compared to 2017 while the total number of employees rose by 4.5 per cent.

“Things were a little different nationally. For every dollar of revenue earned in 2018, Alberta’s manufacturing companies spent 84.4 cents in expenses compared to 91.0 cents in the country as a whole,” it says.

 “Total revenue in Canada was up 5.6 per cent, trailing Alberta’s growth by 1.5 percentage points.  More tellingly, profit was down in the country’s manufacturing sector as a whole by 1.3 per cent compared to the 13.1 per cent jump in Alberta.

“As a result, even though Alberta’s manufacturing sector accounted for 10.9 per cent of the national sector’s revenue, it generated 18.8 per cent of total profits.”

© Calgary’s Business


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