Statistics Canada’s recent fourth quarter report on financial statistics for enterprises is full of a number of interesting, large-picture statistics on the growth and decline of broad industry categories in the Canadian economy. While there are a number of eye-catching numbers in the report, the rapid growth of transportation and warehousing industries — $3 billion in profits, up 10.9% from the third quarter — was especially interesting to us. After all, we recently blogged about the growth that the trucking industry is seeing in the New York City area, and back in December we were surprised to find out that trucking is actually Canada’s third-fastest growing industry. Not only have we found that it’s growing quickly, its growth also compares favourably to the United States.
StatCan’s “transportation and warehousing” industry is a broad, two-digit category encompassing a number of smaller industries. These include every kind of transportation, including ground and air passenger transport and pipelines. We’re focusing on the most important sub-categories – those associated with trucking and warehousing:
- General freight trucking (4841)
- Specialized freight trucking (4842)
- Support activities for road transportation (4884)
- Freight transportation arrangement (4885)
- Other support activities for transportation (4889)
- Warehousing and storage (4931)
Nationwide, these industries provided 375,728 jobs in 2012, a negligible increase from 2011 and up only 1.7% from 2009. This, however, is too broad a picture to get a good sense of what’s really happening in the trucking industry. Looking closer, we find out that there are significant differences between the different provincial trucking industries. Here are their differing growths and declines over the last three years, as well as a picture of the role each province plays in the national trucking industry:
Unsurprisingly, the leading provinces are Ontario and Quebec, although the large role Alberta plays is interesting, and ought to suggest the extent to which the growing oil industry affects other industries in the Albertan economy. In fact, if we look at the Census Divisions nationwide that have the highest concentrations of trucking and related industries, we find that Ontario’s largest (Toronto) is only sixth, and that Peel and Vancouver have significantly more jobs in the trucking industry, while Calgary and Edmonton pay significantly higher salaries than average.
The question always on Canadians’ minds, however, is whether Canada is keeping pace with its American neighbours. The answer, in the case of the trucking industry, is a firm yes. The six transportation industries have grown at a somewhat faster rate over the last three years in the US than in Canada (6% to 2%). However, the actual percentage of the Canadian economy which trucking comprised was slightly larger than that trucking played in the US economy. In 2012, trucking jobs made up 1.81% of the Canadian economy, compared to 1.72% of the US. While that may look like a small difference, a tenth of a percent applied to a job market of tens or even hundreds of millions of jobs is a significant figure.
In more tangible terms, Canadian trucking-related jobs made about the same as or more than their American counterparts; an annual average of $45,143 to the American average of $44,126. Broken down by industry, the comparison looks like this:
Data and analysis for this post came from Analyst, EMSI’s web-based labour market tool. Follow us on Twitter @desktopecon. Email Fraser Martens if you have any questions or comments, or would like to see further data.