During the recession (October 2008 to October 2009), rural employment decreased by 2.6% (-78,000), relatively more than the 2% (-283,000) decrease in urban areas.

More jobs were created in urban areas during the economic recovery than were lost during the recession. However, fewer jobs were created in rural areas during the recovery than were lost during the recession. During the recovery (October 2009 to October 2010), rural employment increased 2.1% (+63,400), relatively less than the 2.2% (+312,000) increase in urban areas.

During the recession (2008-2009), rural employment in natural resources sectors decreased the most in forestry and logging (-20%) and support activities for mining and oil and gas (-20%). Over the same period, rural employment declined in mining (-5%); fishing (-4%); and oil and gas (-2%) but increased in agriculture (+2%).

Provincial variations: Between 2008 and 2009, rural employment decreased in British Columbia (-5.1%); Newfoundland and Labrador (-4%); Ontario (-3.9%); Alberta (-3.7%); New Brunswick (-2.2%), remained stable in Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Manitoba; and Nova Scotia and increased in Saskatchewan (+3.1%).

Between 2008 and 2009, the rural unemployment rate increased from 6.9% to 8.7% while the urban unemployment rate increased from 6% to 8.2%.

Rural Canada is increasingly becoming diversified and service-based.

In 2009, 66% of rural employment was in the service sectors (e.g. consumer services; business services; government-provided services).

Median household incomes are lower in rural compared to urban communities but cost of living is generally lower (except in remote North). Median household incomes are approximately 16% lower in rural ($46,636) compared to urban communities ($55,543).

The five largest sectors for rural employment in 2009 were: retail and wholesale trade (14%); health care and social assistance (12%); manufacturing (12%); construction (9%); and agriculture (8%).

Strongly emerging rural sectors – employment change over 2001 to 2009: Construction (+48%, +85,000); Business, building and other support services (+46%, +29,500); Health care and social assistance (+28%; +75,900); Professional, scientific and technical services (+27%, +21,600); Utilities (+24%, +6,500); Information, culture and recreation (+20%, +14,800).

Faits ruraux

Entre 2008 et 2009, le taux de chômage rural a augmenté, passant de 6,9 % à 8,7 %, tandis que le taux de chômage urbain est passé 6 % à 8,2 %.