Canada’s financial services sector grew 28% in the last decade, with a 10.5% jump in employment, says a report from the Conference Board of Canada.
Financial services directly accounted for close to 810,000 jobs and 7.2% of Canada’s GDP in 2016, the report also says. In fact, the sector has been Canada’s largest and fastest-growing source of services exports, accounting for 48% of Canada’s outward foreign direct investment in 2016.
Toronto’s share of employment in the financial services sector has become more concentrated, rising from 29.8% in 2006 to 33.7% in 2017. The sector’s importance to Toronto’s economy is also growing: with 272,000 workers, financial services made up 8.5% of the metro area’s employment in 2016 and close to 14% of Toronto’s GDP—second only to the public services sector.
What’s more, the sector generated a combined $18.1 billion in revenues for federal, provincial and municipal governments in 2016.
Financial institutions play a vital role in supporting Canada’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs), from raising capital to evaluating risk, the report says. SMEs make up 99.7% of Canadian businesses, and they rely on financial institutions for services ranging from banking and insurance to expanding into new markets and managing risks.
The report, “Partners in growth: 2017 report card on Canada and Toronto’s financial services sector,” was sponsored by the Toronto Financial Services Alliance.