Economic Vitality

Education is still a challenge


Data from the 2006 Census shows that education levels remain low among the Acadian and Francophone population of New Brunswick. Some 37 percent of the Acadians and Francophones have not completed high school, while the general provincial average is 29 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, the number of Acadians and Francophones who have attended university - a bit under 12 percent - is slightly lower than the provincial average (13 percent).

This reflects the reality of resource-dependent rural regions where most New Brunswick Francophones are found. It should however be noted that the city of Moncton, where almost 19 percent of the French-speaking population lives, boasts a high percentage of Acadians and Francophones who have university education: at 20.4 percent, it is similar to the averages in Montreal and Quebec City.
 

Education, 2006, Francophones 15 and older, New Brunswick

Education, 2006, Francophones 15 and older, New Brunswick

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Francophone sectors of employment


French-speaking New Brunswickers are much more numerous in the goods-producing industries than the rest of the population. The difference is especially marked in the processing industries (14 percent of Francophones compared to 11 percent of the total population). They are also more present than the rest of the population in agriculture, fishing and forestry (6 percent).

In 2006, more than 9,700 Acadians and Francophones in New Brunswick owned their own business or were self-employed. They accounted for 7.7 percent of the French-speaking labour force. Many of these independent business owners employ others, and thus create work for Francophones and other residents of New Brunswick.
 

Labour Force by Sector of Activity, 2006, Francophones, New Brunswick

 
Number
%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
7,250
5.7%
Mining and oil and gas extraction
1,960
1.5%
Utilities
600
0.5%
Construction
9,525
7.5%
Manufacturing
17,545
13.8%
Wholesale Trade
3,820
3.0%
Retail Trade
13,950
11.0%
Transportation
5,325
4.2%
Information Industry
2,275
1.8%
Finance and Insurance
3,995
3.1%
Real Estate
1,045
0.8%
Professional Services
3,645
2.9%
Management of Companies
85
0.1%
Administrative Services
4,165
3.3%
Education Services
8,495
6.7%
Health Care
15,650
12.3%
Arts
1,765
1.4%
Accommodation
7,675
6.0%
Other services
6,290
4.9%
Public Administration
10,505
8.2%
All sectors
125,565
100.0%

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Occupations


Job distribution by occupation gives a complementary picture of the economic life of Francophones in New Brunswick.

Three areas clearly stand out: sales and services, which employ close to one out of four Francophones ; trades, transportation and equipment operation, with 17 percent of the active population ; and finance, business and administration, with a similar proportion of Francophone workers.

However, Francophones are less well represented than the rest of the population in the sales and services and finance, business and administration sectors.
 

Labour Force by Occupation, 2006, Francophones, New Brunswick

 
Number
%
Management
8,645
6.9%
Finance, business and administration
21,115
16.8%
Natural and applied sciences
5,015
4.0%
Health
8,790
7.0%
Social sciences, education and government services
9,275
7.4%
Arts and culture
2,550
2.0%
Sales and services
30,125
24.0%
Trades, transportation and equipment operation
22,040
17.6%
Primary industry occupations
7,200
5.7%
Manufacturing industries occupations
10,800
8.6%
All occupations
125,555
100.0%

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Income


The average income of Francophones in New Brunswick is somewhat low: at $26,929, it represents 95 percent of the global provincial average, which is $28,450. This is partially due to the high rate of employment in the goodsproducing industries sector where incomes are relatively low. This type of employment is also often seasonal and short-termed, which contributes to reducing the total income.

Close to half of all Francophones have an income totaling less than $20,000, which is a bit higher than the population as a whole. Approximately 12 percent of Acadians and Francophones have an income exceeding $50,000.

This may be due to the fact that several Francophones live in the rural regions of the province, where the work market is not as dynamic as in urban areas.
 

Total individual income, 2006, Francophones, New Brunswick

Total individual income, 2006, Francophones, New Brunswick

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

The Acadian economy


Source: Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick

Traditionally, fishing, forestry and agriculture are the pillars of the Acadian economy. Acadians created financial institutions for themselves through a mutual and the cooperative sector. Acadian businesses are present in the services and production sectors, and efforts are currently being focused on information technologies and communications.

The tourism industry is thriving: in 2006, New Brunswick received close to a million and a half visitors who left $1.2 billion in the province, much of it in the Acadian regions. Ecotourism and cultural tourism are very lucrative despite a short summer season.



  • Confronted to the hardships of the 1930s, New Brunswick Acadians created the Acadian cooperative movement. The Fédération des caisses populaires acadiennes was established in 1946; today its assets total $2.7 billion and it has 200,000 members. The Mouvement des caisses populaires acadiennes includes 35 caisses populaires operating in 86 business sites in the province.
  • The Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick (CENB) brings together business people (some 1,000 members) from all the Acadian and Francophone regions. Because of the economic influence of its members, CENB is an important lobby group with government.
  • The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) works with a number of local economic development agencies to encourage news small and medium-sized businesses, which are the driving force behind the local economy. This collaboration with the Commissions de développement économique regional (CDER) and the Corporations locales de développement des enterprises (CLDE) as well as the presence of numerous Chambers of Commerce in Acadian regions of the province are signs of a significant upswing in the region's economy.
  • Acadian small and medium-sized businesses are developing at a remarkable rate. In the Acadian region of Shediac-Kent alone, close to three-quarters of businesses are owned by Acadians; more than 60 percent of these businesses have five or fewer employees.