Forestry, mining, manufacturing, tourism, trade, service and transportation make up the economic backbone of the East Kootenay region. Cranbrook, the largest centre in the region with a population of over 18,500, is the hub of activity.
Total General Purpose Assessed Property Value (in 2009): $2,244,158,495.00
Total Labour Force (in 2006): 9,500
Economic Drivers (as of 2006): Public Sector – 28%, Forestry – 12%, Construction – 9%, Mining – 5%, Tourism 5%, Agriculture – 1%, Transfer payments & all other sources – 40%.
 Source: BC Ministry of Community & Rural Development
 Source: Stats Canada
In the Elk Valley, Westar Mining and Fording Coal produce and export metallurgical and thermal coal to Japan and other world markets. Cranbrook serves as the leading distribution and service centre for the mining industry. Local manufacturing primarily focuses on lumber and wood products, machinery, equipment, fabricating, and food and beverage products. An Industrial Park with serviced and un-serviced lots is located in Cranbrook.