Led by Nunavut’s blistering pace, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut combined for manufacturing sales of $47 million in 2022, a 13.8 per cent improvement over $41.3 million in sales in 2021.

The 2022 figure was the best performance since 2018 when the two territories achieved $50.2 million in combined sales.

Statistics Canada usually does not break down Nunavut and the NWT’s manufacturing sales figures separately month by month because sales can be so small for either territory and could thereby reveal belonging to a single manufacturer, depriving that company of privacy.

However, the national statistics agency did reveal manufacturing details independently for each territory throughout 2022 and it showed that Nunavut did a brisk $34.5 million in sales compared to $12.5 million for the NWT.

Nunavut’s best month came in June, which brought in $4.9 million in transactions. The NWT’s top month was March at $2.3 million.

The first few months of 2023 saw Statistics Canada once again release only combined figures for the two territories and March, at approximately $2 million in sales based on preliminary data, was 40.6 per cent slower than March 2022. February also resulted in close to $2 million in combined sales while January was stronger at $4 million.

In Nunavut, manufacturing represented 0.52 per cent of the territory’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022, up from 0.46 per cent in 2021. Manufacturing only accounted for just 0.32 per cent of the NWT’s gross domestic product in 2022, down slightly from 0.35 per cent in 2020 and 2021.

In the NWT, the industry received $54,693 in Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) funding in 2021-22, representing 1.3 per cent of that financial assistance.

Fact file

Manufacturing sales for NWT and Nunavut in 2022 (seasonally adjusted)


January $631,000

February $1.9 million

March $1.5 million

April $1.9 million

May $3.3 million

June $4.9 million

July $4.7 million

August $4.3 million

September $2.8 million

October $3.1 million

November $2.6 million

December $2.9 million


January $1.4 million

February $2 million

March $2.3 million

April $584,000

May $958,000

June $737,000

July $936,000

August $984,000

September $696,000

October $695,000

November $400,000

December $804,000

Source: Statistics Canada

For more stories from Opportunities North 2023, click this link: https://www.nnsl.com/special-feature-publications/opportunities-north-2023/

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