Employment indexes in goods and services

Services continue to grow

  • There has been a long-term shift in employment away from goods-producing industries to services. The share of employment in goods-producing industries, which includes natural resources, manufacturing, construction, utilities and agriculture, has followed a downward trend. Meanwhile, the share of employment in services, which includes retail and wholesale trade, health care, and public administration, has continued to grow, employing 76.3% of all workers in 2007, compared with 65.4% in 1976.

  • Employment in goods-producing industries such as manufacturing and construction tends to be sensitive to economic conditions. In contrast, service employment is much less sensitive. Within the goods-producing sector, construction employment has soared in recent years, while there have been pronounced losses in manufacturing employment. Parts of the natural resource industry, such as mining, oil and gas, have added workers, whereas there have been declines in numbers of forestry workers. Recently, there has also been a marked increase in employment in utilities.

  • Overall, annual average employment grew by 2.3% in 2007. Employment growth in goods-producing industries was stagnant in 2007, up only 0.2% as manufacturers continued to be confronted with an appreciating dollar and rising costs of raw material inputs such as crude oil. Manufacturers cut the number of factory workers by 3.4% in 2007. Construction employment, however, continued to show strong growth, going up 6.0%. Employment in natural resources rose by 2.8%, a slower rate of growth than in the previous two years. In services, employment increased by 3.0% in 2007, with strong gains in accommodation and food services; information, culture and recreation; professional, scientific and technical services; and health care and social assistance.

Chart E.1
Employment indexes in goods and services, 1976 to 2007

Chart E.1 Employment indexes in goods and services, 1976 to 2007

Note: For a definition of an index, please refer to the glossary.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0008.

Date modified: