Economy of Canada

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Canada has the ninth largest economy in the world[4][5] (measured in US dollars at market exchange rates), is one of the world's wealthiest nations, and is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Group of Eight (G8). As with other developed nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians.[6] Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of the primary sector, with the logging and oil industries being two of Canada's most important. Canada also has a sizable manufacturing sector, centered in Central Canada, with the automobile industry especially important.

Canada has one of the highest levels of economic freedom in the world. Today Canada closely resembles the U.S. in its market-oriented economic system, and pattern of production.[7] As of November 2010, Canada's national unemployment rate stood at 7.6% [8]) as the economy continues its recovery from the effects of the 2007-2010 global financial crisis. In May 2010, provincial unemployment rates varied from a low of 5.0% in Saskatchewan to a high of 13.8% in Newfoundland and Labrador.[9] According to the Forbes Global 2000 list of the world's largest companies in 2008, Canada had 69 companies in the list, ranking 5th next to France.[10] As of 2008, Canada’s total government debt burden is the lowest in the G8.

International trade makes up a large part of the Canadian economy, particularly of its natural resources. In 2009, agricultural, energy, forestry and mining exports accounted for about 58% of Canada's total exports.[11] Machinery, equipment, automotive products and other manufactures accounted for a further 38% of exports in 2009.[11] In 2009, exports accounted for approximately 30% of Canada's GDP. The United States is by far its largest trading partner, accounting for about 73% of exports and 63% of imports as of 2009.[12] Canada's combined exports and imports ranked 8th among all nations in 2006.[13]

Canada has considerable natural resources spread across its varied regions. As an example, in British Columbia the forestry industry is of great importance, while the oil and gas industry is important in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. Northern Ontario is home to a wide array of mines, while the fishing industry has long been central to the character of the Atlantic provinces, though it has recently been in steep decline. Canada has mineral resources of coal, copper, iron ore, and gold.

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