Yukon

Covering an area of 482,443 km2, Yukon represents 4.8 per cent of Canada’s total landmass with a population of over 36,000. Well known for its mining heritage, Yukon’s economy continues to be driven forward by this industry, which has flourished in recent years thanks to high mineral prices.

In addition, well-established transportation infrastructure, a skilled labour force and a rich array of other natural and human resources have enabled the growth of numerous secondary industries. Together these factors have given Yukon a strong, vibrant society characterized by an excellent quality of life, a bright economic outlook and tremendous opportunity.

Key Industries

Mining

In recent years, Yukon’s mining sector experienced a strong period of growth with mining activity taking place in all areas of the mining life cycle.

Yukon is well recognized as a premier mining location. Canada was ranked the #1 country for mining investment by Ernst & Young and #2 by Behre Dolbear Minerals Industry Advisors Group. Distinct from the rest of Canada, Yukon is situated near the deep water ports of Skagway and Haines, Alaska allowing easy access to key shipping routes to Asia and over-land routes in North America.

The value of Yukon mineral production is projected to be above $600 million in 2012, up significantly from $402 million in 2011.

Yukon mines produce: gold, copper, lead, zinc, silver, tungsten and iron ore.

Tourism

Tourism is Yukon's second largest private sector industry with distinct markets in wilderness and recreational adventure, wildlife viewing, highway travel, spring and winter aurora viewing and a wealth of historical and cultural attractions.

Oil and Gas

Yukon's oil and gas basins are rich in potential given the growing demand for energy in North America. The Government of Yukon is now exploring the feasibility of utilizing these local gas resources to meet Yukon’s future energy demands. Production at Kotaneelee, currently Yukon’s only producing natural gas field is ongoing. New investment in the Eagle Plains basin is opening new possibility for development.

Construction

The construction industry has developed numerous innovative projects and solutions to the unique challenges of building in remote wilderness regions and Arctic weather conditions. Yukon is at the forefront of northern construction expertise with environmental and energy efficient design paired with new standards for foundations, walls and ventilation systems.

Arts and Culture

Creativity flourishes in Yukon. The strong influences of Yukon’s First Nations and the territory’s rich artistic history have fostered the development of one Canada’s highest concentrations of artists, artisans and musicians.

Yukon’s annual calendar is filled with public art and cultural events:  For example, the Dawson City Music Festival, the Sourdough Rendezvous and Sunstroke Music Festivals in Whitehorse, and the Spring Crane and Sheep Festival in Faro are some of the territory’s renowned celebrations.  Yukon also hosts a number of internationally acclaimed sporting events like the Yukon Quest Dog Sled Race and the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay.

Yukon's Contribution to the Economy

The Yukon economy is expected to grow in 2014, for the 11th consecutive year. Current expectations are that the real GDP will continue to grow in 2014 by 1.7 percent.

Yukon's labour force has grown and set new records in recent years. Yukon anticipates a continue population growth of 1.4 per cent in 2014 and a continued lower unemployment rate.

For more information on Yukon's economy visit www.economics.gov.yk.ca.

A Look to the Future

Yukon will continue to see growth in the mining sector as new projects add to the three already operating mines in the territory.

Investment in the Eagle Plains basin will continue as well as continued diversification of the tourism industry.

Self-governing First Nations are key investors in business start-ups and joint ventures and will continue to be a large part of Yukon’s success. This increase in economic opportunities will be reflected in Yukon’s demographics – the population will continue to grow, bringing an influx of skilled labour to the territory.

Along with the change in population, the Government of Yukon will increase investment in education and training institutions like Yukon College. This investment focus will ensure young Yukoners have the opportunity to remain in the territory as they pursue higher education and permanent careers.