Rural Manufacturers Attributes, Intentions and Needs of Manitoba, North Dakota and Saskatchewan Firms
Leistritz, F. Larry
Wanzek, Janet K.
The past decade has been a period of turmoil for the manufacturing sector in both the U. S. and Canada, and rural manufacturing firms in both countries have been subjected to substantial competitive pressures. The purpose of this study was to increase our understanding of the firms that comprise the manufacturing sector in North Dakota and in the Provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Data came from a survey offirms conducted in 1991. A total of aaa firms (214 from North Dakota, 61 from Manitoba, and 58 from Saskatchewan) returned useable surveys. Durable goods manufacturers dominated the sample, accounting for 65 percent in Manitoba, 66 percent in North Dakota, and 78 percent in Saskatchewan. Many of the participating firms were relatively new; about 59 percent of the Saskatchewan companies and 44 percent of the North Dakotas firms, but only 25 percent of the Manitoba manufacturers, had been established since 1979. Many of the firms also were quite small; about 57 percent of the North Dakota companies and 44 percent of those in Canada reported that their 1990 gross sales were less than $1 million. The Canadian firms were more oriented to international marketing and sales than their North Dakota counterparts. Another substantial contrast between the North Dakota manufacturers and their Canadian counterparts was the extent of their plant's production capacity that was currently being utilized. North Dakota firms reported an average of 76 percent utilization, followed by Manitoba (67 percent) and Saskatchewan (57 percent) companies. Overall, the firms that comprise the manufacturing sector in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are quite similar to their North Dakota counterparts. Many are relatively new, and most are relatively small. The Canadian firms have experienced less favorable recent trends in sales and employment growth. However, with substantial experience and widespread interest in international trade combined with substantial excess capacity, the Canadian firms may be well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the U.S. -Canada Free Trade Agreement.
Community/Rural/Urban Development, Production Economics,
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