Dernière mise à jour le
Jul 19, 2024

Yukon in numbers

Taux de chômage
PIB par habitant
Dette publique
Déficit publique

Le contexte socio-économique

As of September 2022, Yukon has a population of 44 160 inhabitants. The territory grew at an annualized rate of 1.8% over the last five years (up to 2022), ranking it second in the country in terms of growth rate. The population of Yukon is in majority located around the capital Whitehorse, located in the south of the territory. The city alone accounts for nearly 80% of the total population of the territory. It hosted the editions of the Canada Winter Games in 2007 and the Arctic Winter Games in 2012, two major sporting events that attract the country's best athletes.

Yukon is the smallest in terms of area of the three Canadian territories. It is located in the north-west of the country, Above the Arctic Circle. Its name for the territory comes from the translation of the word “big river” into the indigenous Gwich'in language. About a quarter of Yukon residents are of Aboriginal descent and it is home to fourteen First Nations, speaking eight different languages. Yukon's population is also very multicultural, with residents coming from all over the world. Immigrants arrive in the region in particular to take advantage of economic opportunities, especially in the mining sector. To attract new immigrants, the Yukon government has a Territorial immigration application program for businessmen and women wishing to settle there.

The share of Francophones in Yukon's population is approximately 10%. THEFranco-Yukonnaise Association (AFY) supports the interests of Francophones in Yukon. Its mission is to contribute to the economic vitality of the Franco-Yukon community by intervening in the sectors of tourism, immigration, youth and local economic development.

The government

As a territory, the Yukon government has more limited jurisdiction than its provincial counterparts in the Canadian Confederation. It has elected representation in both chambers of the country's federal Parliament as well as in its own democratically elected parliament. There are 18 representatives in the Yukon Legislative Assembly, located in its capital Whitehorse. The territory is managed by the Prime Minister Ranj Pillai, elected for a second term in April 2021.

The economy of the territory

Yukon's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 reached 3.1 billion Canadian dollars in 2022, with growth of 4.1% over the past five years (up to 2022). Yukon's GDP growth and the Yukon's economy in general are closely linked to the performance of its mining sector. In 2020, mining accounted for 12.2%, construction 9.7%, and tourism 2.2% of Yukon's GDP. GDP from mining represented 12.2% of Yukon's GDP in 2020, up from 10.6% in 2018.

Based on revenue received from mining reported by Yukon businesses, total GDP attributable to mining was $359.5 million in 2020.

The main economic assets and the flagship industries

Mineral extraction

Yukon's economy is largely based on its rich natural resources.. The largest industries in terms of revenue in Yukon are gold and silver ore mining, copper, nickel, lead, and zinc mining, and gas and bulk oil stations, which generated $3.9 billion, $2.2 billion, and $369.1 million CAD respectively in 2022.

The importance of mining in Yukon dates back to the end of the 19th century, when a major gold discovery led to the Klondike Gold Rush that saw between 30,000 and 40,000 people arrive in the territory in just a few months. This event triggered the creation of the territory itself. The climate in most of Yukon is subarctic, characterized by long and cold winters, which constrain mining and exploration conditions.

Since the end of the 19th century, mining has been Yukon's largest extractive industry, although market fluctuations can cause large variations in production. Mineral resources are varied and include deposits of combined silver-lead and lead-zinc and copper ores, coal, iron, and some oil and natural gas. Investors in the mining sector wishing to establish themselves in the country can benefit from the Yukon Mineral Exploration Program (PEMY) offered by the Yukon Government.

Gold mining remains an important economic sector with open pit mines. Yukon also has The second largest iron ore deposit in the world.

The energy sector

Rivers and lakes offer numerous opportunities for hydroelectric power generation. The public service, Yukon Energy, operates three hydroelectric power plants (in Whitehorse on the Yukon River, Lake Aishihik in southwest Yukon, and Mayo in central Yukon), which together have 75 MWh of electricity. Their energy production meets almost all the needs of consumers in the territory. Some remote communities rely on diesel generators. Wind and solar energy sources are also under development.

Frozen river near the capital of Whitehorse


Yukon's economy has gradually diversified and tourism now provides a significant portion of Yukon jobs and services. Businesses attributed $146.2 million of their gross revenue in 2020 to tourism. Based on tourism revenue reported by Yukon businesses, the total GDP attributable to tourism was $63.7 million in 2020.

Kluane National Park in southwest Yukon

Tourism is a booming sector and a pillar of the territorial economy generating stable economic revenues for the territory. It is one of the largest employers in the private sector. Wilderness tourism, which includes activities such as guided river trips, hiking, and horseback riding, is a big part of Yukon's tourist attraction, and a number of protected areas have been established. Largely uninhabited, the Yukon Territory has significant terrain and is home to theThe highest peak in Canada, the Mount Logan, culminating at 5,959 meters, as well as eight territorial parks including the two national parks Ivvavik and Vuntut, located in the north-west of the territory.

Les spécificités du marché du travail par secteurs d’activité

Yukon Territory employed 34,125 people in 2022. Employment grew at an annualized rate of 2.8% over the five years to 2022, which is lower than the country average of 3.4%. Major employment sectors include retail, mining, and healthcare/social assistance, which employed 10,428, 5,769, and 2,950 people respectively in 2022. Much of the work is done on a seasonal basis and standard weekly wages exceed the Canadian average. Additionally, Yukon does not have territorial sales taxes.


Forest resources are limited, but commercial logging is practised in some southern regions. Smaller sawmills produce some of the wood needed for local construction, wood extraction, and fuel, although imported fuel oil replaces both locally extracted wood and coal as the main fuel.

Public sector

Public administration is the first major source of jobs and economic activities after natural resources.

Private sector

In 2021, the construction and professional, scientific and technical services sectors together represented about a third (32.4%) of all businesses in Yukon. Retail, construction, accommodation, and food service sectors represented (41.6%) of private-sector jobs.

With 2,468 workers (employees and business owners working actively in their businesses), the retail sector was the largest private sector employer in 2021, followed by construction (1,929) and accommodation and catering (1,643). These three sectors together represented 41.6% of all private sector jobs. Among business sectors, the information and cultural industries had the highest proportion of full-time employees, at 88.3%. Retail had the highest proportion of part-time employees (38.7%), while health care and social assistance had the highest proportion of casual/temporary employees (15.8%).

The construction sector

Businesses in the construction sector reported total revenue of $609.4 million, representing 16% of all gross business revenues in Yukon in 2020. Gross construction revenues attributed to construction by all businesses in Yukon, including construction businesses, totalled $613 million in 2020.

The business sector with the highest revenues attributed to construction, in addition to the construction sector itself ($363.2 million), was that of real estate and rentals. Total gross real estate and rental income in 2020 was $511.8 million CAD, of which $87.7 million (17.1%) was attributed to construction.

Based on construction revenues reported by Yukon businesses, the total GDP attributable to construction was $286.1 million in 2020. GDP from construction represented 9.7% of Yukon's GDP in 2020, up from 12.9% in 2018. Gross revenues attributed to mining by Yukon businesses, including mining businesses, totalled $646.1 million in 2020.

Le commerce international et les accords commerciaux

Rich in mineral and metal resources with a well-developed infrastructure, Yukon is a more attractive destination for investment. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU) that covers virtually every sector and aspect of trade between Canada and the EU. For service providers, CETA grants the best market access that the EU has granted to date in a free trade agreement. CETA also helps create middle class jobs, strengthen economic relationships with the EU, and boost trade between Canada and the EU, which is the second largest market in the world, with over 500 million consumers and a GDP of $22 trillion. CETA also stimulates investment by providing Canadian and EU investors with greater certainty, transparency, and protection for their investments. Under CETA, businesses operating in Yukon benefit from guaranteed preferential access to EU and North American markets. Yukon's strong sectors, including mining and exploration, oil and gas, and innovation and technology, especially benefit from CETA's investment provisions. There are other advantages for businesses, especially when it comes to customs duties. In fact, from the first day of its provisional application, CETA immediately eliminated all customs duties on the territory's exports of metals, mineral products and mining equipment, which will promote the competitiveness of these products on the European market. The EU is the largest importer of metals and minerals in the world and its consumption has increased rapidly over the last decade. Yukon's extractive industry benefits from preferential access to provide technical and advisory services in the EU. Yukon service providers are on an equal footing with their EU competitors and receive better treatment than most competitors from outside the EU.

Thanks to CETA's worker mobility provisions, highly qualified professionals in the mining and energy sector can more easily do business in the EU, such as attending meetings, negotiating sales, and providing engineering advice and technical advisory services.

Liens utiles