Economic Vitality

Education a challenge


Many Acadians and Francophones in the province have lower education levels: 34% of them did not complete high school (the national average for Francophones is 25.6%). At the other end of the spectrum, only 13 percent of them have attended university; however, this average is only slightly lower the overall provincial average. It should also be noted that the percentage of Francophones who completed college studies (21.5%) is similar to the national average for Francophones.

These figures reflect the reality of the resource-dependent rural areas where the Island's Francophones are concentrated.
 

Education, 2006, Francophones 15 and older, Prince Edward Island

Education, 2006, Francophones 15 and older, Prince Edward Island

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Employment sectors


Acadians and Francophones work in various sectors. Their presence in the public administration sector is the highest of all Francophone communities across the country (15.3 percent). This is especially due to the fact that the Department of Veterans Affairs has its headquarters on the island. They are also active in the manufacturing industry (12 percent) and education (8.9 percent).

In Prince Edward Island today, there are 260 Acadians and Francophones who own a business or are self-employed, accounting for 8.4 percent of the French-speaking workforce. Many of these independent business owners employ others, and thus provide work to Francophones and other Islanders.
 

Labour Force by Sector of Activity, 2006, Francophones, Prince Edward Island

 
Number
%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
240
7.8%
Mining and oil and gas extraction
35
1.1%
Utilities
0
0.0%
Construction
240
7.8%
Manufacturing
370
12.0%
Wholesale Trade
70
2.3%
Retail Trade
250
8.1%
Transportation
60
1.9%
Information Industry
40
1.3%
Finance and Insurance
75
2.4%
Real Estate
20
0.6%
Professional Services
85
2.8%
Management of Companies
0
0.0%
Administrative Services
115
3.7%
Education Services
275
8.9%
Health Care
215
7.0%
Arts
80
2.6%
Accommodation
200
6.5%
Other services
240
7.8%
Public Administration
475
15.4%
All sectors
3,085
100,0%


Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Occupations


The profile of the economic vitality of Prince Edward Island's Francophone community would be incomplete without a glance at occupations.

Four areas clearly stand out - sales and services, which employ more than one out of five Francophones ; finance, business and administration (17.6 percent of Francophone workers) ; trades, transportation and equipment operation (16.4 percent) ; finally, social sciences, education and government services (13 percent).
 

Labour Force by Occupation, 2006, Francophones, Prince Edward Island

 
Number
%
Management
220
7.1%
Finance, business and administration
545
17.6%
Natural and applied sciences
125
4.0%
Health
105
3.4%
Social sciences, education and government services
405
13.0%
Arts and culture
60
1.9%
Sales and services
655
21.1%
Trades, transportation and equipment operation
510
16.4%
Primary industry occupations
270
8.7%
Manufacturing industries occupations
210
6.8%
All occupations
3,105
100.0 %


Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Income


Four out of 10 Francophones have an annual income lower than $20,000, while only one out of ten has an income higher than $60,000. However, the average annual income of the province's Francophones - $29,152 - exceeds the provincial average by $1,400.
 

Total Individual Income, 2006, Francophones, Prince Edward Island

Total Individual Income, 2006, Francophones, Prince Edward Island

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

A knowledge-based economy


In the last few years, the public administration sector - and especially the rise of a population of French-speaking public servants in Charlottetown - has changed the social and economic dynamics of Prince Edward Island. The public service sector is a prominent source of employment; by providing jobs with attractive conditions to the Island's Acadians and Francophones, it becomes an important vector for economic and community development. The fact that Prince Edward Island's French speakers are bilingual is an asset for future employers.

In 2008, the Government of Prince Edward Island targeted four development sectors for the next five years: aerospace, renewable energy, information and communication technologies as well as life sciences. The challenge for the coming years is in pairing or aligning interests and skills so that the Island's Acadians and Francophones can find rewarding jobs in those targeted sectors, while continuing to contribute to the vitality of their community.