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The State of Canada’s Tech Sector, 2016

An in-depth look at Canada’s tech sector, a major driver of innovation and a dependable source of economic growth for the foreseeable future
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The State of Canada’s Tech Sector, 2016
Creig Lamb
Senior Policy Analyst
Matthew Seddon
Policy Advisor

About this Report

The State of Canada’s Tech Sector, 2016 is a new report produced by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) in conjunction with a number of key partners. To date, we have only had a limited view of how pervasive of an impact technology—and technology‐related jobs—has had on the size of our economy and its contribution to our workforce.

The report states that the value of Canada’s tech sector has grown steadily, and that the sector itself is broader in scope than previous assessments, ranging from digital technologies, to aerospace and pharmaceuticals. It is a diverse, highly innovative sector that is also a significant economic driver. In 2015, the technology sector was directly responsible for $117 billion or 7.1 per cent of Canada’s economic output—greater than that of the finance and insurance industry.

The tech sector also has the key attribute of being a more dependable, less volatile, source of growth than the real estate, manufacturing, extractive industries and construction, which are currently Canada’s largest economic contributors.

Read this report to help you:
  • Identify the industries that comprise Canada’s tech sector,
  • Identify the tech sector’s economic contribution to Canada’s economy
  • Identify the tech sector’s contribution to Canada’s innovation ecosystem
  • Identify the characteristics of the average tech sector firm and employee

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Key findings from the report:

  • The tech sector was directly responsible for $117 billion or 7.1 percent of Canada’s economic output, greater than that of the finance and insurance industry.
  • 864,000 Canadians were employed in the tech sector, which made up 5.6 percent of Canada’s total employment.
  • At over $9.1 billion spent, the tech sector was by far the largest private investor in research and development.
  • The tech sector was also comprised of nearly 71,000 firms, representing 6.1 percent of all Canadian businesses.
  • Tech sector employees earned approximately $67,000 a year, compared to the national average of nearly $48,000.
  • Over 50 percent of tech sector employees had a university education, compared to 29 percent across Canada’s labour force.

Our Partners

We would like to thank MaRS and Communitech for their financial support in developing this report and John Ruffolo of OMERS Ventures for initiating this series. We would also like to thank our partners for their feedback and encouragement.

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Jul 25, 2016

Executive summary from The State of Canada’s Tech Sector, 2016 a new report produced by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) in conjunction with a number of key partners
The State of Canada’s Tech Sector, 2016: Executive summary

Jul 25, 2016

Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship releases new report on the impact and contribution of Canada's tech sector on the economy and workforce
Canada’s tech sector: An economic goliath

Jul 25, 2016

The tech sector is a cornerstone of Canada’s knowledge economy, it is a massive contributor to the country’s current and future economic success
Apps to Aerospace: Canada’s future as a tech giant
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