Economic Vitality

Significant variations among regions

Education is the key to the vitality of Canada's Francophone and Acadian communities, but despite the progress achieved to date, these communities remain clearly undereducated. At the national level, 26.5% of Francophones have not completed high school, compared with 23.4% of the total population outside Quebec. As for university graduates, they account for 18.6% of the French-speaking population; this percentage is almost identical to the average for the general population (18.7%).

However, there are a number of major differences among the regions. In the Evangeline Region of Prince Edward Island, in Southwestern Nova Scotia and in the Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick, 42% of Francophones did not complete high school, and this percentage is above 45% in New Brunswick's Kent County. The situation is hardly better in Northeastern Ontario, rural Manitoba rural or Saskatchewan. In these areas, the Francophone populations are generally employed in industries that require a less highly trained work force.

In the urban areas, however, the Francophonie is much better off in terms of level of education. While the rate of Francophone university students is only 11.7% in New Brunswick, this percentage rises to almost 20.4% in Monctona rate that is comparable with that for Montréal (19.9%) and Québec (20.0%). In Toronto, an impressive 37% of Francophones have taken university studies, compared with 26.7% for the general population. Vancouver follows closely with a rate of 32.5% for Francophones.
 

Province/territory
No Diploma
High School
Trades
College
University
Newfoundland and Labrador
27.9%
19.0%
11.1%
21.1%
20.9%
Prince Edward Island
34.3%
19.6%
11.9%
21.5%
12.7%
Nova Scotia
30.3%
16.4%
14.5%
21.8%
16.9%
New Brunswick
36.6%
21.4%
11.2%
19.1%
11.7%
Ontario
23.9%
23.5%
9.7%
22.2%
20.7%
Manitoba
27.8%
23.8%
11.8%
20.6%
16.1%
Saskatchewan
29.7%
21.4%
13.0%
18.5%
17.4%
Alberta
20.0%
22.4%
13.9%
23.2%
20.5%
British Columbia
18.0%
21.8%
12.3%
22.7%
25.3%
Yukon
15.7%
18.5%
11.6%
31.5%
22.7%
Northwest Territories
14.7%
16.4%
10.7%
26.6%
31.6%
Nunavut
19.5%
14.6%
11.0%
31.7%
23.2%

Total - Canada less Quebec

26.5%
22.5%
10.8%
21.5%
18.6%


Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Labour market participation varies by region


Overall, 594,245 Francophones and Acadians aged 15 and over participate in the labour market, that is, 64.9% of the Francophone population of working age.

The participation rate varies widely from region to region. The Atlantic provinces (except for Prince Edward Island) are the most affected by the low labour market participation. At the other end, the rate is 74% in Alberta and over 80% in the three territories. Francophones are economically more active in those areas where the economic base is more highly diversified, and therefore less affected by underemployment, seasonality or unemployment. They are less active in the labour market in those areas that depend on the exploitation of natural resources, are affected by the moratorium on fishing or by the rationalization of the mining and pulp and paper sectors.

The gap between the participation of Francophones and Anglophones to the labour market is just three percentage points, a margin that has narrowed in the last several years. It should also be noted that the participation rate for Francophones is slightly higher than for Anglophones in Newfoundland and Labrador (61.4% as against 58.9%) and in the three territories.
 

Labour Market Participation, 2006, Francophones, Provinces and Territories

Province/territory  
Newfoundland and Labrador 61.7%
Prince Edward Island 66.3%
Nova Scotia 61.3%
New Brunswick 62.6%
Ontario 64.9%
Manitoba 65.2%
Saskatchewan 60.8%
Alberta 74.1%
British Columbia 64.2%
Yukon 85.2%
Northwest Territories 85.3%
Nunavut 84.1%
Total - Canada less Quebec 64.9%


Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Francophone employment structure


The employment structure is also heavily affected by geography. In the rural regions of the Atlantic provinces, Northeastern Ontario and the West, industries that produce goods (primary industries, manufacturing and construction) are especially critical for Francophones. This type of industry provides 22.4% of the jobs for all of Canada, a rate that climbs to 29% in New Brunswick, 27.4% in Saskatchewan and 28% in Alberta.

The public sector (education, health and government administration) is another significant group of activities for Francophones. Those who live in larger urban areas are more fortunate in this respect. Also, the public sector holds a leading position in Francophone employment in the three territories: in Nunavut, almost three out of ten Francophones work in public administration.

Dynamic industries (transportation and communications, finance and insurance, wholesaling and enterprise services) are seen as a strategic link in the development chain. There are few of these industries in regions that do not have an urban infrastructure capable of handling head offices of large companies, so they are concentrated in the large metropolitan areas, which explains their modest presence in many Francophone regions.
 

Labour Force by Sector of Activity, 2006, Francophones, Provinces and Territories

Labour Force by Sector of Activity, 2006, Francophones,<br />  Provinces and Territories

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A high percentage of entrepreneurs


The number of people who are self-employed helps to determine the level of entrepreneurship in the general population. It is considered a good indicator of a society's development and is part of today's trend of relying on one's own resources.

Francophones who are self-employed account for 10.5 percent of the population in 2006, which is a bit less than the average for Anglophones (12%). Self-employment is significantly widespread in the Western provinces, where it varies from 13 percent (Manitoba) to 20 percent (Saskatchewan). More than 15 percent of the Francophone workers in British Columbia and Yukon are self-employed, whereas the percentage of self-employed Franco-Ontarians is within the national average.

The Francophone regions in the Atlantic provinces have a lower percentage of entrepreneurs, except for the Evangeline region (Prince Edward Island) and Yarmouth County (Nova Scotia), two places where the percentage of self-employed Acadians is comparable to the national average.
 

Self-employment Among Francophones, 2006, Provinces and Territories
Province/territory Percentage
Newfoundland and Labrador 4.9%
Prince Edward Island 8.4%
Nova Scotia 8.7%
New Brunswick 7.7%
Ontario 10.0%
Manitoba 12.7%
Saskatchewan 20.0%
Alberta 14.6%
British Columbia 15.5%
Yukon 15.8%
Northwest Territories 10.6%
Nunavut 8.7%
Total - Canada less Quebec 10.5%


Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Note : These percentages include self-employed individualswith French as their first official language spoken (alone or with English) who are incorporated, as well as those who are unincorporated.

Wide regional variations


The average income for Francophones outside Quebec is $38,700, a figure that is heavily influenced by the very high average employment income of Francophones in the three territories ($51,382).

Francophones enjoy the highest incomes in Toronto, where the average is $43,813, in Calgary ($47,920) and in Ottawa ($42,804). Francophones in Edmonton and Vancouver also have average incomes above $36,000. Outside these urban regions, however, the average income of Francophones decreases: it is significantly lower in the counties of Kent, Northumberland and Gloucester in New Brunswick (respectively 63%, 56% and 60% of the national average), in Prince Edward Island's Evangeline region (67%), in Digby County in Nova Scotia and in some rural regions in Saskatchewan.
 

Average Personal Income for Francophones, 2006,Provinces and Territories

Province/territory Average Income
Newfoundland and Labrador $ 36,447.00
Prince Edward Island $ 29,152.00
Nova Scotia $ 32,168.23
New Brunswick $ 26,929.25
Ontario $ 38,373.36
Manitoba $ 33,267.23
Saskatchewan $ 36,393.60
Alberta $ 42,529.10
British Columbia $ 34,993.01
Yukon $ 40,552.00
Northwest Territories $ 55,276.00
Nunavut $ 58,317.00
Total - Canada less Quebec $ 38,699.81



Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census