Estimating the size of the ED industry

Somebody recently asked me what the size of the ED market would be across North America. It’s impossible to say for sure but I can make a conservative estimate. I did a little analysis a couple of years ago and there are roughly 8,000 ED agencies in Canada and the U.S. and well over 100,000 people working in the field (that includes local, provincial, state and federal government employees as well as Chamber of Commerce agencies that have ED officers, even most U.S. utilities have ED officers).

In New Brunswick alone, there are close to 700 people working in ED (ACOA, BNB, Industry Canada, Enterprises, local municipalities, the French RDEEs, etc.).

It’s impossible to put a $ figure on it but again a rough estimate would be somewhere in the order of $12.5 billion (assuming $125k budget per employee in the ‘industry’) per year in just operating costs (not including incentives).

Again, impossible to know how much goes to consultants but even if it is 5% – that would make ED consulting a $625 million business each and every year.

That’s a big business.