Canada is one of the world's wealthiest nations, with a high per-capita income, and is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Group of Eight. It is one of the world's top 10 trading nations. Canada is a mixed market, ranking lower than the U.S. but higher than most western European nations on the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom. Since the early 1990s, the Canadian economy has been growing rapidly with low unemployment and large government surpluses on the federal level. Today Canada closely resembles the U.S. in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards. As of October 2007, Canada's national unemployment rate of 5.9% is its lowest in 33 years. Provincial unemployment rates vary from a low of 3.6% in Alberta to a high of 14.6% in Newfoundland and Labrador. 2008 forbes global 2000 list of world's largest companies, Canada had 69 companies in the list ranking 5th next to France.. As of 2007, the Canada’s total government debt was $467.3 billion CAD, or 68.5% of GDP.
In the past century, the growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. As with other first world nations, the Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry, which employs about three quarters of Canadians. However, Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of the primary sector, with the logging and oil industries being two of Canada's most important.
Canada is one of the few developed nations that are net exporters of energy. Atlantic Canada has vast offshore deposits of natural gas and large oil and gas resources are centred in Alberta. The vast Athabasca Tar Sands give Canada the world's second largest oil reserves behind Saudi Arabia. In Quebec, British Columbia, Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba, hydroelectric power is a cheap and clean source of renewable energy.