The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E), a non-profit arm at Ryerson focused on innovation research, has released The State of Canada’s Tech Sector 2016, a report that breaks down the technology sector’s key characteristics and its contribution to the economy.
The tech sector, which consists of 71,000 companies, employs around 5.6 per cent of all working Canadians (864,000 of them), and they tend to make more than workers in other sectors, said the report. The average tech employee earns $67,000 per year compared to a national average of just under $48,000.
Technology firms are very small and widely distributed. Over two thirds of them (69 per cent) have 1-4 employees, compared to 54 per cent across all industries. Yet this swarm of small firms is responsible for 7.1 percent of Canada’s economic output, which makes it bigger than the financial sector at $117 billion, according to Brookfield.
What’s interesting is the list of sectors that surpass it. Construction and real estate beat the tech sector in terms of GDP, although you have to wonder how long that will last if the bubble bursts. Natural resource extraction still leads technology in GDP, but we’ve all seen how volatile that can be.