Island Economy

Prince Edward Island has a vibrant and growing economy. Island businesses continue to deliver the highest quality products and service to the marketplace.

Our economy features a mix of traditional resources - agriculture, fisheries and tourism - that have undergone significant modernization as well as new industry sectors including bioscience and advanced manufacturing. Business acumen and entrepreneurship are at the core of PEI's economic success.

As of April 1, 2024, minimum wage is $15.40 per hour and the provincial government has numerous programs available to help students get into the job market.

2022 Annual Statistical Review Highlights

  • Population increased by 3.6 per cent;
  • Employment averaged 84,200, with a record increase of 5.4 per cent;
  • Total labour income increased 10 per cent;
  • Farm cash receipts reached an all-time high of $727.7 million, an increase of 36.7 per cent;
  • Retail sales increased by 8.3 per cent;
  • International exports increased by 17.2 percent to reach $2 billion;
  • GDP by industry for Prince Edward Island expanded by 2.9per cent in 2022. Increases were recorded in 13of the 20 major industry groups;
  • Island population as of July 1, 2022 was 170,688, an increase of 3.6 per cent over 2021;
  • Unemployment rate averaged 7.6 per cent, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points over 2021;
  • The All-Items Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Prince Edward Island was up 8.8per cent in 2022 compared to 2021;
  • Housing starts totalled 1,318, an increase of 4.6 per cent over 2021.


Farming in Prince Edward Island is a traditional industry with an important economic contribution. In 2021-2 farm cash receipts valued $740.7 million, an increase of 30.4 per cent compared to 2021.1


The Department of Fisheries, Tourism, Sport and Culture estimates that the value of total fish landings in 2022 fell by 10.9 per cent to $426.2 million, following a 92.9 per cent increase in 2021. Molluscs and crustaceans remain by far the top species of the Island fishery comprising 97.6 per cent of the total value of all fish landings. Total lobster landings decreased by 5.9 per cent in 2022, which along with lower prices, contributed to the total value falling by 15.6 per cent to $312.9 million. Lobster prices decreased from 2021 prices, to an average of $7.05/lb in 2022.1


Total shipments increased by 16.8 per cent in 2022 to a value of $3.0 billion, a new all-time high. Shipments have increased every year since 2010, with the exception of the pandemic year of 2020. Durable goods increased 29.5 per cent, while shipments of non-durable goods rose by 11.0 per cent. Employment  in  the manufacturing sector increased 19.7 per cent over 2021 to reach 8,500 in 2022.1


2022 saw tourism rebound to pre-pandemic levels, with no travel restrictions in place for the entire season. Cruise ships were permitted to visit Charlottetown for the first time since 2019 and traffic flowed freely on the Confederation Bridge and the ferry services.1

The total number of room nights sold at fixed roof accommodations rose by 70.0 per cent in 2022, following an increase of 68.0 per cent in  2021, to surpass  pre-pandemic levels. Occupancy rates at Island accommodations improved to 49.0 per cent from 31.5 per cent in 2021, which also surpassed the 45.6 per cent seen in 2019. Site nights sold at campgrounds increased 33.3 per cent, with the occupancy rate up to 52.1 per cent from 39.2 per cent in 2021. In 2019, campgrounds had an occupancy rate of 47.9 per cent.1


According to Industry Canada, the value of P.E.I.’s international exports of goods rose by 17.2 per cent in 2022 to reach 2.0 billion, a new all time high. This follows increases of 1.1 per cent and 12.6 per cent and in 2020 and 2021 respectively.1


The PEI Cluster includes over 65 bioscience companies, several research institutions, and is home to Emergence – Canada’s virtual Bioscience Business Incubator and Natural Products Canada, North America’s first business accelerator dedicated to the commercialization of products and technologies based on natural product chemistry.2


1 Annual Statistical Review, July 2023

2 PEI BioAlliance.




Published date: 
April 2, 2024
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