The industries on this site are classified according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada of 2007. Statistics Canada maintains this industry classification which has superseded the 1980 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC).
NAICS was jointly adopted in 1997 by Canada, Mexico and the United States against the backdrop of NAFTA. The classification was designed to provide common definitions of the industrial structure of the three countries and a common statistical framework to facilitate the analysis of the three economies.
Considering the dynamics of today's economies, Canada, the United States and Mexico agreed upon revisiting the structure of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) every five years to make any necessary changes. As per the agreement, in 2002, a revision of NAICS was implemented.
Adjustments were made to increase comparability in specific areas and to recognize important changes which have occurred since the introduction of NAICS in 1997. NAICS Canada 2002 affects the organization of the NAICS 23 - Construction and NAICS 51 - Information and Cultural Industries sectors.
NAICS was revised for 2007 to reflect changes to the Canadian and world economies. In particular, the Information and Cultural Industries sector was once again updated. The updates take into account the rapid changes within this area, including the merging of activities.
NAICS is constructed within a supply-based, or production-oriented, conceptual framework where establishments using similar production processes to produce goods and services are grouped to form industries. The boundaries between industries demarcate, in principal, differences in production processes and production technologies.
NAICS is based on supply side principles to ensure that industrial data, classified to NAICS, is suitable for the analysis of production related issues such as industrial performance, inputs and outputs, productivity, unit labour costs and employment.
NAICS is a comprehensive system encompassing all economic activities. It has a hierarchical structure. At the highest level, it divides the economy into 20 sectors. At lower levels, it further distinguishes the different economic activities in which businesses are engaged.
Its hierarchical structure is composed of sectors (two-digit code), subsectors (three-digit code), industry groups (four-digit code), and industries (five-digit code). These are broadly comparable for all three countries, although there are a number of important exceptions.
A country may choose to breakdown industries (five-digit code) into national industries (six-digit code) in order to capture additional detail. As the name indicates, national industries are unique to each country and cross-comparisons generally do not apply.
According to the NAICS Canada 2007 Manual, the structure of the Canadian Economy is distinguishable as the following sectors:
Although the three countries were able to agree on comparable definitions up to the five-digit industry level in the majority of cases, differences in the organization of production in their respective economies and other constraints necessitated certain exceptions.
The table below summarizes the comparability of NAICS Canada to the classification structure adopted in NAICS United States and SCIAN Mexico.
|Hierarchy||Coding Structure||Data Comparability
Canada - U.S. - Mexico
*Usually a 2 digit code defines a NAICS Canada sector. However, a set of 2 digit numbers was needed to define Manufacturing (NAICS 31-33), Retail Trade (NAICS 44-45) and Transportation and Warehousing (NAICS 48-49) sectors.
|Sub sector||3 digits||Comparable, some exceptions|
|Industry group||4 digits||Comparable, some exceptions|
|Industry||5 digits||Comparable, some exceptions|
|National Industry||6 digits||Specific to each country, some exceptions|
More information regarding country comparability is available on the Statistics Canada site: see the three-country comparability of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2007.
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) supercedes industry classification systems previously in use in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
In Canada, NAICS replaced the Standard Industrial Classification of Establishments (SIC-E), and the Standard Industrial Classification of Companies and Enterprises (SIC-C) formed in 1980.