News Canada

Canadians more educated, heading North and West for jobs

By Jessica Murphy, Senior Washington Correspondent

(SHUTTERSTOCK)

(SHUTTERSTOCK)

OTTAWA — Canadian workers are increasingly educated, getting older, and flocking to where the jobs are — the North and the West.

According to new 2011 National Household Survey data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada, the Yukon and Alberta had the highest employment rates in the country — almost 10% above the national average.

With jobs to fill, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, the Yukon and Alberta had the highest proportion of workers who moved there from another province or territory in the last five years.

Few Canadians moved east for jobs, with just 1% of workers in Quebec from out-of-province, and 1.7% in Ontario.

Meanwhile, the retail sector dominated in the job rankings, with more than one in 10 of us working in that industry — the most common job for Canadian men and women was retail salesperson.

The labour force was also almost evenly split between men and women, with women accounting for 48% of workers.

Outside of retail sales, common jobs were otherwise divided along traditional lines, with top picks for women being administrative assistant, nurse and cashier. The most common jobs for men were transport truck driver, retail trade manager and carpenter.

Ranking just below retail in terms of share of total employment were the health and social assistance and manufacturing sectors.

Canada's workforce also aged slightly, with baby boomers over 55 choosing not to retire — and dominating in agriculture management, religious occupations, and as bus and subway drivers and statisticians.

Sylvie Michaud, director general of education, labour and income at StatsCan, said one general trend picked up in the survey was the strong link between education and employment.

The employment rate for those with university credentials was 81.6% compared to 55.8% for those without.

"We know education is important for the economy," she said.

She noted that the spread was lower in the booming job market in Alberta and the Prairies, but jobs in the territories especially still demanded a highly skilled labour force.

The popularity of trade certificates was slumping among students as they sought degrees and college diplomas instead.

StatsCan also found women continued to hold more university degrees than men and were also gaining ground in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, although the majority of those degrees were earned by men. Half of those degrees were held by immigrants.

---

KEY FIGURES:

-National employment rate: 60.9%

-Highest employment rate in Canada: 69.7% (Yukon)

-Canadian adults with a university degree: 64.1%

-Canadian workforce over 55: 18.7%

Poll

Are you currently employed?


Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions


Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »