As 2011 winds down, I took a look at some of the changes occurring in the national economy. We are through the latest recession and into a growth curve – albeit a tenuous one. Exports are up, employment is up, government revenue is starting to grow at a stronger clip. There are certainly risks – particularly Europe – but as of now Canada is moving into a new economic reality.
This new reality is one that is heavily reliant on non-renewable natural resources revenue. We are starting to see a Canadian version of Dutch disease emerging where resource sectors boom while manufacturing declines.
I have put together two charts – one shows the change in export intensity from 2001 to 2011 (based on the first nine months) and the second shows the change in employment patterns (2011 based on the first 11 months of the year).
This structural change in our exports profile will have an impact on many areas of society – foremost will be government revenue. Those provinces with lots of non-renewable natural resources to exploit are well positioned, those without are not so.
Exports by Sector (per $1,000 total exports)*
*2011 – using total exports from January to September. Source: Statistics Canada.
Employment by Sector (per 1,000 total Employed)*
*2011 – using the average monthly employment January to November.
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey.