As a small, open economy, we depend on trade with other countries for prosperity and the high standard of living for which Canada is known. Commodities and manufactured goods traditionally formed the foundation of our identity. Services are a different story. Even economists struggle to understand their role. As a result, they’ve remained mostly in the shadows. But, over the past decade, services have accounted for three of Canada’s fastest-growing exports: financial and insurance services, management services and IT services. More and more, it’s where economic growth will come from and where the jobs of the future will be.
In 2000, just 12 per cent of Canada’s exports were services, but, by 2013, the most recent period for which comparable statistics are available, the figure had increased to 15 per cent. The services label is applied to a wide swath of industries and businesses, from retail to engineering and banking, but it’s the high-end professional part of the spectrum that offers the biggest opportunity. “Not all services are alike,” says Goldfarb. “They don’t all have the same economic potential of the higher-value services,” such as engineering, architecture, banking and education.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The services industry: Canada’s secret economic playground? – Macleans.ca.