NWT economy grew by 1.5% in 2022, initial estimate suggests

The Northwest Territories’ economy grew by 1.5 percent in 2022, initial Statistics Canada figures suggest, with construction increases offsetting a drop in diamond mining output.

The territory’s increase was one of the smallest among Canadian jurisdictions. Only Newfoundland and Labrador, where the economy shrank, posted a worse initial figure for the year.

Saskatchewan (5.7 percent) and Alberta (5.1 percent) reported the strongest growth in 2022. Nunavut’s figure was only slightly higher than the NWT’s, while the Yukon (3.3 percent) was in the middle of the pack.


The figures involved are Statistics Canada’s initial estimates of gross domestic product related to industry. Typically, these figures are augmented and revised later in the year to produce more accurate data.

For example, the NWT reported initial 6.3-percent growth in its GDP in 2021, but the final figure came in at 4.8 percent.

The 2021 figure was also an anomaly, though, as it recorded the territory attempting to bounce back from the extraordinary impact of the Covid-19 pandemic’s opening year, which caused the NWT’s economy to shrink by around 10 percent.

In that light, 2022’s modest growth shows continued progress back toward pre-pandemic economic health. (Even prior to the pandemic, the NWT’s annual GDP figures had looked anaemic.)

The NWT Bureau of Statistics said the territory’s GDP declined in diamond mining – a fall of 7.6 percent – but the construction industry increased by 20.7 percent.


The figure for diamond mining is unlikely to stage much of recovery, with the Diavik mine expected to close by 2026 and the two other active mines, Ekati and Gahcho Kué, not far behind.

Updated GDP data, taking into account more information, will be published in November alongside revised estimates for 2020 and 2021.