Economic Vitality

An educated Francophone population


Education is the key to the economic vitality of British Columbia's Francophone community. A large number of the province's Francophones have a postsecondary education: over 14,300 of them have attended college and 25.3 percent have some university-level education, much higher than the provincial average of 19.5 percent.

Generally, the number of British Columbian Francophones with a postsecondary education compares favourably to the national average.
 

Education, 2006, Francophones Aged 15 and Older, British Columbia

Education, 2006, Francophones Aged 15 and Older, British Columbia

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

The employment sectors of British Columbia's Francophones


Francophones in the province work in a wide variety of jobs. Though not very active in the primary sector, they have a significant presence in education (11.1 percent), wholesale and retail trade (11.1 percent) and health care (8.7 percent).

In British Columbia today, 6,290 Francophones own a business or are self-employed. They account for 15.5 percent of the Francophone labour force. Many of these business owners employ other people, thus providing employment to Francophones and other residents of the province.
 

Labour Force by Sector of Activity, 2006, Francophones, British Columbia

 
Number
%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
1,185
2.9%
Mining and oil and gas extraction
380
0.9%
Utilities
175
0.4%
Construction
3,125
7.7%
Manufacturing
2,995
7.4%
Wholesale Trade
1,305
3.2%
Retail Trade
3,210
7.9%
Transportation
1,900
4.7%
Information Industry
1,150
2.8%
Finance and Insurance
1,235
3.0%
Real Estate
810
2.0%
Professional Services
3,250
8.0%
Management of Companies
35
0.1%
Administrative Services
2,150
5.3%
Education Services
4,510
11.1%
Health Care
3,520
8.7%
Arts
880
2.2%
Accommodation
3,180
7.8%
Other services
1,820
4.5%
Public Administration
3,115
7.7%
All sectors
39.930
100.0%


Data: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Occupations


Any profile of the economic vitality of British Columbia's Francophone community would be incomplete without an overview of their occupations.

There areas clearly stand out: sales and services which employ one out of four Francophones; trades, transportation and equipment (13.7 percent of the labour force); and finance, business and administration (15.8 percent).
 

Labour Force by Occupation, 2006, Francophones, British Columbia

 
Number
%
Management
4,625
11.6%
Finance, business and administration
6,320
15.8%
Natural and applied sciences
3,240
8.1%
Health
2,020
5.1%
Social sciences, education and government services
4,635
11.6%
Arts and culture
1,670
4.2%
Sales and services
9,475
23.7%
Trades, transportation and equipment operation
5,455
13.7%
Primary industry occupations
1,535
3.8%
Manufacturing industries occupations
945
2.4%
All occupations
39,920
100,0%


Data: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Income


The average individual income of British Columbia's Francophones is $34,993, which is almost identical to the provincial average.

More than one out of two Francophones has an annual income lower than $20,000. One out of four has an income lower than $10,000 or no income at all.
 

Total Individual Income, 2006, Francophones, British Columbia

Total Individual Income, 2006, Francophones, British Columbia

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

The French-speaking economy, 10 years after a major shift


In 1998, the Francophone economic sector underwent a major shift with the establishment of the Société de développement économique de la Colombie-Britannique (SDECB). As a result of the initiatives implemented by this organization, there is now a Frenchspeaking business network throughout the province as well as a tourism corridor. SDECB offers several services to business people, including the development of business plans and training. It also offers a brochure and a website on tourism "en français" in British Columbia.

The Chambre de commerce franco-colombienne de Vancouver, established in 1988, offers many activities to facilitate networking between business people, including business breakfasts and lunch-hour conferences.

Other than those two organizations, there is a bilingual financial institution in Maillardville, Vancity, as well as three Frenchlanguage housing cooperatives.

L'Annuaire des services en français is an important tool that lists Francophone businesses and professionals in Vancouver and other regions of the province. This document is published every year and currently lists over 350 advertisers from the business, government, institutional and associative sectors. It is available through FFCB, on its website and through other Francophone associations.