Economic Vitality

Education still a challenge


In the age of the knowledge-based economy, there are still marked differences between urban and rural regions in terms of the education level of Franco-Ontarians. As many as 24% of all Francophones provincewide have no high school diploma, a figure that is ten percentage points higher in the Francophone counties of Northeastern Ontario. However, only 15.3% of Toronto's Francophones and 18% of Ottawa's Francophones have not completed high school.

At the other end of the spectrum, 20% of the province's Francophone population has a university-level education, a figure that is higher than the national average for Francophones. This is due notably to the significantly high percentages in Toronto (36.9%) and Ottawa (27%). However, less than 10 percent of the Francophones in the northern counties of Algoma, Cochrane and Timiskaming have a university diploma.

In total, 10 percent of the Franco-Ontarian population graduated from trade school and 22 percent have a college diploma.
 

Education, 2006, Francophones 15 and older, Ontario

Education, 2006, Francophones 15 and older, Ontario

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Franco-Ontarian employment sectors


Franco-Ontarians are active in various sectors of activity. They are especially present in the public service sector: one out of three Francophones works in public administration, education or health care. Franco-Ontarians are also active in the manufacturing sector and in retail trade.

Ontario now counts over 32,000 Francophones who own a business or are self-employed. Franco-Ontarian business owners account for 10% of the French-speaking labour force. Many of them employ other people, providing jobs to a certain number of Ontarians.
 

Labour Force by Sector of Activity, 2006, Francophones, Ontario

 
Number
%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
5,645
1.8%
Mining and oil and gas extraction
4,065
1.3%
Utilities
1,785
0.6%
Construction
20,030
6.3%
Manufacturing
30,235
9.5%
Wholesale Trade
12,205
3.8%
Retail Trade
30,220
9.5%
Transportation
15,240
4.8%
Information Industry
7,630
2.4%
Finance and Insurance
13,730
4.3%
Real Estate
4,675
1.5%
Professional Services
20,520
6.4%
Management of Companies
255
0.1%
Administrative Services
14,220
4.5%
Education Services
31,620
10.0%
Health Care
30,305
9.6%
Arts
5,250
1.7%
Accommodation
15,425
4.9%
Other services
14,545
4.6%
Public Administration
39,435
12.4%
All sectors
317,035
100.0%


Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Occupations


Any profile of the economic vitality of Ontario's Francophone community would be incomplete without a look at occupations.

Two areas are clearly dominant: Francophones are very active in finance, business and administration, as well as in sales and services, where their bilingualism is recognized as a valuable asset.
 

Labour Force by Occupation, 2006, Francophones, Ontario

 
Number
%
Management
31,995
10.1%
Finance, business and administration
66,600
21.0%
Natural and applied sciences
23,100
7.3%
Health
16,280
5.1%
Social sciences, education and government services
36,400
11.5%
Arts and culture
10,405
3.3%
Sales and services
67,165
21.2%
Trades, transportation and equipment operation
43,970
13.9%
Primary industry occupations
8,285
2.6%
Manufacturing industries occupations
12,835
4.0%
All occupations
317,035
100.0%


Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Income


In 2006, the average annual income for Ontario's Francophones was $38,373, which is slightly higher than the provincial average ($38,099). This is a reversal of trends compared to previous censuses. Moreover, this average is significantly higher than the national average for Francophones, which is $32,320.

It should be noted that a bit more than one out of four Francophones has an annual income higher than $50,000; however, 22% of the Franco-Ontarian population has an income under $10,000.
 

Total Individual Income, 2006, Francophones, Ontario

Total Individual Income, 2006, Francophones, Ontario

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

The economy at a glance


Source: Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario (AFO)

Ontario's Francophone community has created several structures and resources to support its economic development. Namely, the Fédération des caisses populaires de l'Ontario, established in 1946, now includes 21 caisses populaires across the province.

The Conseil de la coopération de l'Ontario represents the province's Francophone co-operatives. Its mission is to contribute to the development of the social economy in the Francophone community using the co-operative model. Its members are recruited within farming co-ops, solidary and labour co-ops, as well as housing, consumer and funeral co-ops.

The Regroupement franco-ontarien de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDEE Ontario), aims to be the key organization in the area of Franco-Ontarian economic development. It is active in rural development, the knowledge-based economy, youth and tourism, and offers various technical services to communities to support job creation.