Resource sectors declining but still important.

Primary resource sector (agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and metals, energy) employment (production and support services) in rural Canada decreasing: 17% in 1996; 12% in 2009.

Long-term employment trend in natural resources production and support services: Between 1996 and 2009, rural employment in natural resources decreased in forestry and logging (-47%), agriculture (-29%), fishing (-26%), and mining (-4%) but increased in oil and gas (+38%) and support activities for mining and oil and gas (+116).

In 2008, 21% of rural employment was in resource sector production, support services, processing and manufacturing. This has declined from 24% in 2001.

In 2008, approximately 628,600 rural Canadians were employed in natural resources production, support services, manufacturing and processing:

  • 362,600 in primary resource production and support services
  • 266,000 in resource manufacturing and processing

From its peak in 2004, rural employment in resource manufacturing and processing declined by 45,000 (-15%).

Approximately one third of rural SMEs operate in agriculture, mining, fisheries, forestry, and energy.

The economies of approximately 1,610 or 36% of rural communities are dependent on a single natural resource (a community is considered dependent on natural resources when between 30-100% of their economy is based on a natural resource sector):

  • 563 agriculture-dependent communities
  • 454 forestry-dependent communities
  • 285 energy-dependent communities
  • 166 mining and metals-dependent communities
  • 142 fisheries-dependent communities

Approximately 2.4 million rural Canadians live in resource-dependent communities.

While the contribution of natural resources to Canada's GDP fell from 22.5% in 2000 to 20.1% in 2008, the contribution of natural resources to exports increased from 45% of all exports of goods in 2002 to 65% in 2008.




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Rural Fact

Although rural Canada's population is generally older (median age 42.1) than the population of urban Canada (median age 38.9), rural remote areas in Territories are much younger (median age 27.6) due to an...