Canada Year Book


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    Jobs in the services industries continued to dominate the workforce in 2009. More than three out of four Canadians were employed in service industry jobs, which range from retail sales to administrative support to financial services.

    Goods-producing industries were affected more than services as the economic downturn continued in 2009. Employment in the goods-producing sector fell 7.1% in 2009, whereas employment in services was virtually unchanged at 0.1% growth.

    Services generated $870 billion (chained 2002 dollars) worth of output in 2009, while the goods-producing sector generated $330 billion. Growth in the services sector was largest in the local credit unions (8.0%) and offices of real estate agents and brokers and related activities (7.2%). From 1999 to 2009, the services sector grew 34.2%, compared with 1.3% growth for the goods-producing sector.

    Architectural services

    One of the fastest-growing service industries in recent years is architectural and landscape architectural service firms. Operating revenue for those firms were $3.4 billion in 2008, up 10.8% from 2007. With operating expenses of $2.9 billion, this translated into an overall profit margin of nearly 16%.

    Architectural services accounted for the bulk of the 2008 revenue (85%), and the majority of this revenue came from non-residential building projects.

    chart 3.1 Architectural services' operating revenue and expenses
    View data source for chart 3.1

    Engineering services

    Engineering services saw 13.3% growth in 2008 with $21.8 billion in operating revenue, the majority of which came from industrial and manufacturing projects, such as petroleum and mining. With operating expenses of $19.1 billion, the operating profit margin was 12.7%.

    Among the provinces, Manitoba had the highest percentage growth in engineering services' operating revenue in 2008, at 35.2%. Ontario (25.6%), Newfoundland and Labrador (20.8%), Alberta (18.2%) and Nova Scotia (15.1%) also showed strong growth. British Columbia, the province with the third highest growth rate in engineering services in 2007, fell by 0.2% in 2008.

    Consulting services

    Another growing industry is management, scientific and technical consulting services, which posted a 10.3% increase in operating revenue in 2008. Consulting services firms provide expert advice and assistance to organizations on management, environ­mental, scientific and technical issues.

    Environmental and other scientific and technical consulting services led the 2007 gains with a 28.2% rise in operating revenue, but slowed to a 10.4% increase in 2008. In 2007, management consulting services netted an increase of 3.3%, but in 2008 its growth was similar to other consulting services at 10.3%.

    Operating expenses in consulting services rose to $10.3 billion in 2008, an 8.4% increase over 2007. Profit margins reached 20.8%, slightly higher than the 19.4% margin in 2007.

    Ontario generated almost half the revenue for consulting services, followed by Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia in 2007. However, since 2001, revenue has decreased in Ontario and Quebec, but has risen in western Canada. The Maritime provinces also saw notable gains in 2007.

    chart 3.2 Consulting services' operating revenue and expenses
    View data source for chart 3.2

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