Economic Vitality

An educated Francophone population


The Franco-tenois community enjoys high levels of education and can count on a significant percentage of individuals with a postsecondary education: 280 Francophones have gone to university, and some 235 have gone to college. The percentage of Francophone university graduates, 31.6%, is double the territorial average and exceeds the national average for Francophones by 15 percentage points.
 

Education, 2006, Francophones 15 and Older, Northwest Territories

Education, 2006, Francophones 15 and Older, Northwest Territories

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Franco-tenois employment sectors


The economy of the Northwest Territories is highly dependent on the exploitation of natural resources. In this context, the distribution of Francophones among employment sectors is somewhat surprising. There are few Franco-tenois in the goods-producing industries except for mining and oil, which employ approximately 50 Francophones.

There are many more Francophones in other sectors: construction and transportation each employ as many or more workers than mining and oil production. Francophones are very well represented in the public services sector, where their proportion in public administration, education, health and social services is almost 40 percent.

Clearly, the Franco-tenois community has made its place in the services economy, and to a certain extent this makes Francophones less vulnerable to resource price cycles.

Moreover, there are now 80 Francophones in the Northwest Territories who own a business or are self-employed. These business owners account for 10.7 percent of the Francophone labour force. A large number of them employ other people, thus providing work for Francophones and other residents of the N.W.T.
 

Labour Force by Sector of Activity, 2006, Francophones, Northwest Territories

 
Number
%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
0
0.0%
Mining and oil and gas extraction
55
7.3%
Utilities
10
1.3%
Construction
65
8.7%
Manufacturing
20
2.7%
Wholesale Trade
0
0.0%
Retail Trade
40
5.3%
Transportation
55
7.3%
Information Industry
20
2.7%
Finance and Insurance
15
2.0%
Real Estate
15
2.0%
Professional Services
30
4.0%
Management of Companies
0
0.0%
Administrative Services
15
2.0%
Education Services
115
15.3%
Health Care
50
6.6%
Arts
25
3.3%
Accommodation
50
6.6%
Other services
40
5.3%
Public Administration
130
17.3%
All sectors
750
100,0%


Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Occupations


Job distribution by type of occupation provides another way of looking at the economic vitality of Francophones in the Northwest Territories.

One sector is clearly dominant: sales and services, which employs one out of four Francophones. A total of 17.6 percent of the labour force works in the trades sector. In both of these employment categories, income levels tend to be low. However, the fact that many Francophones are in education and government services seems to offset this imbalance.
 

Labour Force by Occupation, 2006, Francophones, Northwest Territories

 
Number
%
Management
95
12.8%
Finance, business and administration
100
13.5%
Natural and applied sciences
75
10.1%
Health
10
1.4%
Social sciences, education and government services
125
16.9%
Arts and culture
30
4.1%
Sales and services
160
21.6%
Trades, transportation and equipment operation
130
17.6%
Primary industry occupations
15
2.0%
Manufacturing industries occupations
0
0.0%
All occupations
740
100.0%


Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Income


Francophones in the Northwest Territories enjoy a high average income: at $55,276, it is $11,000 than the average annual income of the N.W.T. population as a whole.

The Franco-tenois community's income profile is quite positive. Only one out of nine Francophones has an income under $10,000. More than a third of all Francophones have an income over $60,000. However, the higher cost of living in the Northwest Territories must also be taken into account.
 

Total Individual Income, 2006, Francophones, Northwest Territories

Total Individual Income, 2006, Francophones, Northwest Territories

Data from: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

A booming economy


The economy of the Northwest Territories is currently experiencing an unprecedented expansion. With the opening of the diamond mines, the N.W.T. are making an enviable place for themselves in this industry on the world market.

An increasing number of Francophones are landing in the capital to profit from the economic boom. In addition to the mining and oil industries, the main employers are the territorial and federal governments.

Le Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDÉTNO) has an office in Yellowknife and offers support to Francophones who are trying to launch a business, as well as existing businesses that want to provide services in both official language. CDÉTNO represents the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (RDÉE TNO), a member of the umbrella organization RDÉE Canada, a network that fosters economic development within minority Francophone communities in Canada.