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2006 Census: Labour market activities, industry, occupation, education, language of work, place of work and mode of transportation

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The Daily

Tuesday, March 4, 2008
2006 Census

Statistics Canada today releases detailed analyses of data from the 2006 Census on labour market activities, industry, occupation, education and language of work.

These analyses are now available in three online documents Canada's Changing Labour Force, 2006 Census; Educational Portrait of Canada, 2006 Census; and Using Languages at Work in Canada, 2006 Census.

Also available are several tables that contain 2006 Census data on place of work and mode of transportation. The analysis for these variables will follow on April 2, 2008.

Labour force activities: Employment growth fastest among G7 nations

Between 2001 and 2006, total employment in Canada increased at an annual average rate of 1.7%, the fastest percentage increase among the Group of Seven (G7) nations. Italy's growth rate of 1.2% was second and France and the United States followed.

Employment rose in every part of the country. However, growth was strongest in the West, and especially in Alberta and British Columbia.

On an industry basis, the fastest growth in employment occurred in the mining and oil and gas extraction industries, where employment increased at an average pace of 7.5% a year, nearly four times the national average. Alberta alone accounted for 70% of the employment growth in this industry.

With low interest rates spurring activity, growth in the larger construction sector was a strong 4.5% on average per year. During the five-year period, this sector added an estimated 196,200 workers to its ranks.

Canada's second largest service industry, health care and social assistance, added 199,900 workers, equal to 2.6% on average each year, well above the national average. This brought total employment in health care and social assistance to 1,667,700 in 2006. The gains were widespread, from ambulatory services to medical laboratories to hospitals.

There was also a large increase in retail trade employment, up 1.8% per year on average, for a total gain of 155,800 workers. This put the number of retail jobs at just over 1,815,000. Most of the big employment increase came from grocery stores, building materials and supplies stores and automobile dealerships.

On the downside, manufacturing shed 136,700 jobs during the five-year period, equivalent to a 1.4% decline per year. This occurred in the wake of the rapidly appreciating Canadian dollar, as well as shifts in production from Canada to other countries. Manufacturing losses were concentrated in Central Canada.

Fastest growing occupations in construction

Data for occupations largely reflected these industry developments. In terms of absolute numbers, the busy retail, construction and health care industries triggered large increases in certain occupations.

Retail salespersons and sales clerks comprised one of the largest occupational groups in the country; their numbers rose by 132,300, the largest increase of all occupations. Another group, cashiers, increased by 43,300, a reflection of expanding consumer spending in retail stores.

The second largest increase occurred among construction trades helpers and laborers, whose numbers rose by 52,300. Much of this growth occurred in British Columbia and Alberta. The building boom required carpenters, and as a result, their numbers increased by 33,900.

Among health care workers, the number of nurse aids and orderlies increased by 37,100, while the number of registered nurses rose by 37,000. This was a reflection of the greater demand for health care services, paralleling increased government spending in the industry.

The oil and gas industry is still relatively small, but its rapid expansion in recent years has meant huge gains for a number of occupations. The number of oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers increased by 78% to 11,500 — making it the fastest growing of all occupations. The number of supervisors in oil and gas drilling and services rose 47.2% to about 9,400.

At the same time, a number of occupations experienced declines. For example, in textile manufacturing, the number of sewing machine operators plunged by 18,300, or 32.7%. There was also a decline in the number of metal fabricators, including steel workers, during the five-year period.

According to data on labour mobility, 563,000 people or 3.4% of the total workforce, moved to a different province or territory between 2001 and 2006. Mobility rates were highest in the territories and Alberta. In 2006, the mining and oil and gas extraction and public administration industries had the highest shares of inter-provincial movers in their workforce.

Data also showed that the aging of Canada's labour force intensified. In 2006, those aged 55 and older accounted for 15.3% of the total labour force, up from 11.7% in 2001. This was the result of the aging of the baby boomers, and the increased tendency for older workers to participate in the labour force.

The median age of the labour force surpassed 40 years for the first time, rising from 39.5 years in 2001 to 41.2 years in 2006. The median is the point where half are older and half younger.

Education: Profile of adult population aged 25 to 64 

The document Educational Portrait of Canada, 2006 Census provides information on the education of the 17,382,100 adult Canadians aged between 25 and 64.

Overall, 6 out of every 10 Canadians aged between 25 and 64 had completed some form of postsecondary education, and 1 out of every 5 postsecondary graduates had studied business, management and marketing. No other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nation had a higher proportion of its adult population with university or college attainment than Canada.

The number of adults aged between 25 and 64 who reported a university degree increased by 24% from 3,207,400 in 2001 to 3,985,700 in 2006. In comparison, the number of adults that did not have a university degree increased only 2%.

Canada ranked sixth among all OECD countries in terms of the proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 who had a university degree. It was tied with Australia and Korea at 23%.

One-third (33%) of women aged 25 to 34 had a university degree in 2006, compared with 25% of their male counterparts. Both proportions were much higher than those observed for older adults aged between 55 and 64; in this age group, 16% of women and 21% of men had a university degree.

Just under one-quarter (24%) of 25 to 64 year olds had a high school diploma as their highest level of attainment, while 15% had less than a high school education.

Fewer young adults were studying in trades than their parents. About 10% of adults aged 25 to 34 had a trade certification in 2006, compared with 13% of the adults aged between 55 and 64.

Young adults studied different trades than older generations. For example, there were 25,800 fewer young people aged 25 to 34 who had a trade certificate in mechanics and repairs than adults aged 55 to 64. On the other hand, there were 12,500 more young people who had a certificate in personal and culinary services than the older generation.

Over half the recent immigrants (who arrived between 2001 and 2006), had a university degree. This was more than twice the proportion of degree holders among the Canadian-born population (20%) and also much higher than the proportion of 28% among immigrants who arrived before 2001.

Educated Canadians were more mobile. Adults aged between 25 and 64 who had a university degree accounted for 23% of the population, but 33% of the people who moved to another province or territory between 2001 and 2006. Alberta was the prime beneficiary of interprovincial migration among educated adults.

Language at work: Slight gain in workers who used more than one language on the job

Nearly 2.8 million Canadians reported using more than one language at work in 2006, up from about 2.5 million in 2001. These individuals represented about 15% of people aged 15 and over who worked between January 1, 2005 and May 16, 2006.

Francophones and allophones were more likely than anglophones to use more than one language at work.

Nationally, 33.6% of francophone workers used more than one language at work in 2006, up slightly from 32.9% in 2001. The proportion of allophones edged down from 25.6% to 25.0%, while the percentage of anglophones who did so remained stable at just over 4%.

Census data showed that 69.1% of the 577,000 francophone workers outside Quebec reported using French at work in 2006. The use of French was highest among francophones in New Brunswick.

Inside Quebec, more anglophone workers were using French on the job. In 2006, two-thirds (67.9%) of anglophones reported using French at work, up from 65.4% five years earlier.

French was the predominant language of work among allophones in Quebec, who made up 70% of the province's immigrant workers. About 77.3% of allophones reported using French at work, up from 76.0% in 2001.

In contrast, the proportion of allophones in Quebec who used English at work dropped from 72.5% in 2001 to 70.9% in 2006.

In the three largest census metropolitan areas — Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver — fewer allophones reported using a non-official language at work. In 2001, 19.8% of allophones in Montréal had reported using a non-official language at work. By 2006, this share had fallen to 17.4%, well below the national average of 21.9%.

In Toronto, 21.8% of allophones reported using a non-official language at work in 2006 and, in Vancouver, 33.0%.

2006 Census sub-module

Also released today are various products and services available from the 2006 Census sub-module on our website. By clicking on the Release topics and dates link, then on Labour, Place of work and commuting to work, Education or Language, users will find 2006 Census information on the labour, place of work and commuting to work, education and language of work of the Canadian population.

The information on this web page is organized into three broad categories: Data products, Analysis series, and Geography.

The Data products category presents the labour, education, place of work and language of work data for a wide range of standard geographic areas.

Data are available through the Labour highlight tables, the Education highlight tables, the Language used at work highlight tables, the Topic-based tabulations, the Profile release components, the 2006 Community Profiles and the Census Tract (CT) profiles.

The Analysis series category presents the labour analytical perspective report Canada's Changing Labour Force, 2006 Census; the education analytical perspective report Educational Portrait of Canada, 2006 Census, and the language of work analytical perspective report Using Languages at Work in Canada, 2006 Census.

The Geography category presents thematic maps containing labour and education data for standard geographic areas in Canada.

By using GeoSearch2006, an interactive mapping tool, users can find any area in Canada, as well as a corresponding map of the area with its population count. A large collection of supplementary geography reference material and maps is also available.

The next data release from the 2006 Census, scheduled for April 2, 2008, will provide detailed analysis of ethnic origin, visible minorities, place of work and mode of transportation.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3901.

For more information, contact Media Relations (613-951-4636), Communications and Library Services Division.