Canadian Manufacturing

Canada’s tech sector a ‘major driver’ of growth, says Ryerson University study

The university's Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship says its study demonstrates a vibrant and diverse tech sector with plenty of potential


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TORONTO—Canada boasts a vibrant tech sector that boasts steady growth and less volatility than other more traditional sectors, according to a report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Ryerson University.

Canada’s tech sector is a major driver of innovation and a dependable source of economic growth for the foreseeable future, indicates The State of Canada’s Tech Sector, 2016— a report that has updated and broadened the definition of the sector, taking into account how pervasive of an impact technology, and technology-related jobs, has on the size of Canada’s economy and its contribution to our workforce.

The value of Canada’s tech sector has grown steadily, and the sector itself is broader in scope than previous assessments, ranging from digital technologies, to aerospace and pharmaceuticals.

In 2015, the report says the technology sector was directly responsible for $117 billion, or 7.1 per cent, of Canada’s economic output—greater than that of the finance and insurance industry.

The tech sector also has proven to be a more dependable source of growth than the real estate, manufacturing, extractive and construction industries, which are currently Canada’s largest economic contributors.

“The key to future economic growth and stability is understanding where Canada’s strengths lie,” said Sean Mullin, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, Executive Director. “This benchmark study demonstrates a vibrant and diverse tech sector, and its potential as a driver of innovation and economic growth.”

Report Key Findings:

  • The tech sector was directly responsible for $117 billion or 7.1 per cent of Canada’s economic output, greater than that of the finance and insurance industry.
  • 864,000 Canadians were employed in the tech sector, which made up 5.6 per cent of Canada’s total employment.
  • At over $9.1 billion spent, the tech sector was by far the largest private investor in research and development.
  • The tech sector was also comprised of nearly 71,000 firms, representing 6.1 per cent of all Canadian businesses.
  • Tech sector employees earned approximately $67,000 a year, compared to the national average of nearly $48,000.
  • Over 50 per cent of tech sector employees had a university education, compared to 29 per cent across Canada’s labour force.

The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) is a new independent and nonpartisan institute, housed within Ryerson University, that conducts research and analysis; testing, piloting and prototyping projects.


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