The economy is largely resource-based, led by copper, zinc, and gold mines. The Horne smelter in Rouyn-Noranda is an important economic contributor to the region and the economy. Forestry and forestry products are also major employers, along with hydroelectric power and bottled water. Those sectors, along with agriculture, account for 30% of employment.
In the public sector, the Integrated Health and Social Services Centre and the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue are major employers. The university recently opened a school for Indigenous Studies.