Economists and policy makers have long watched the manufacturing sector as something of a bellwether for the broad ‘state of the economy’ in an advanced country such as Canada.
But there was a trend that saw jobs shipped abroad in recent decades as manufacturers looked for low-cost environments to expand.
Then, along came the politicians who though re-shoring might be popular with voters. This was especially true in the U.S. where there some signs that it is working – factory jobs are returning to America.
That prompted the economists at TD Canada Trust to examine whether Canada was seeing some benefit too. So far, not so much but they see some signs of improvement. It may just be in its infancy so not completely evident.
What we do know is that only two sectors – food production and non-metal mineral production – have seen growth in recent years. All the others have been receding, something that raises the importance of the sector in the future, especially if we’re going to be a player manufacturing electric cars, not simply a supplier of components for the vehicle of tomorrow.