The nominal gross domestic product (GDP) associated with digital economic activities was $109.7 billion, or 5.5 per cent of total economic activity in Canada in 2017, according to a report released on Friday by Statistics Canada.
“Digital economic activities, commonly referred to as the digital economy, include activities that enable digitization or are highly affected by it. For example, the digital economy includes the information technology equipment that it relies upon to function, as well as e-commerce transactions and the digital delivery of products to consumers,” said the federal agency.
“While the digital economy is not an industry, to give a sense of its scale, it was larger as a proportion of the total economy than mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (4.8 per cent), transportation and warehousing (4.6 per cent) and utilities (2.4 per cent) in 2015.”
In Alberta, the digital economy GDP as a proportion of the total economy was 3.6 per cent.
StatsCan said that in Canada the nominal GDP of digital economic activities from 2010 to 2017 (+40.2 per cent) grew at a faster pace than the overall economy (+28 per cent). On an annual basis, the digital economy increased more than the total economy every year except in 2011 and 2017, which were years of strong growth in the energy sector.
“Telecommunications, part of the digital-enabling infrastructure domain, was the largest contributor to the digital economy in Canada. However, its contribution declined from 36.9 per cent in 2010 to 28.7 per cent in 2017. Over the same period, the contribution of e-commerce more than doubled, from 5.5 per cent of the digital economy to 12.4 per cent,” it said.
In 2017 there were 886,114 jobs associated with digital economic activities, representing 4.7 per cent of all jobs in Canada, added Statistics Canada.
“While the proportion of digital economy jobs was smaller than the share of GDP and output, jobs associated with the digital economy (+37 per cent) grew at more than four times the pace of economy-wide job growth (+8.6 per cent) from 2010 to 2017,” it said.
“The largest contributors to digital economy jobs in 2017 were support services (30.2 per cent), followed by e-commerce (18.6 per cent). The hardware domain (6.4 per cent) represented the smallest share of digital economy jobs.”
– Mario Toneguzzi