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By the numbers: The state of Canadian manufacturing

Robots weld door components onto the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country at the Chrysler assembly plant in Windsor, Ont.

Jerry S. Mendoza/AP

Statistics Canada has updated its annual figures for the Canadian manufacturing sector, and the data paint just the kind of bleak picture you would expect: Despite a post-recession recovery, this is still a much smaller sector than it used to be. And the declines are much more glaring in jobs than in manufacturing revenues – perhaps evidence that post-recession, manufacturers are finding ways to produce more with fewer staff. (A silver lining on the productivity front, perhaps?)

The numbers also show the changing geography of Canada's manufacturing sector: Away from its long-standing central Canadian core. That's similar to the theme that has emerged in capital investments in the country, as Jack Mintz wrote in Economy Lab earlier today.)

Here is a snapshot of some key numbers in manufacturing:

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$606-billion: Total Canadian manufacturing revenues in 2011 (the latest year available)

-6 per cent: Revenue decline since 2006

+7 per cent: Revenue increase in 2011 from 2010

1,510,000: Total number of manufacturing employees in 2011

-314,000 (17 per cent): Decline in manufacturing jobs since 2004

-16 per cent: Decline in Ontario's manufacturing revenues since 2004

-202,000 (24 per cent): Decline in Ontario's manufacturing jobs since 2004

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-0.6 per cent: Decline in Quebec's manufacturing revenues since 2004

-86,000 (17 per cent): Decline in Quebec's manufacturing jobs since 2004

+32 per cent: Increase in Alberta's manufacturing revenue since 2004

+10,000 (8 per cent): Increase in Alberta's manufacturing jobs since 2004

+31 per cent: Increase in Atlantic Canada's manufacturing revenue since 2004

-11,000 (11 per cent): Decline in Atlantic Canada's manufacturing jobs since 2004

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About the Author
Economics Reporter

David Parkinson has been covering business and financial markets since 1990, and has been with The Globe and Mail since 2000. A Calgary native, he received a Southam Fellowship from the University of Toronto in 1999-2000, studying international political economics. More

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