Emerging rural sectors – employment change over 2001 to 2009: Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (+19%, +17,800); Public administration (+19%, +20,700); Accommodation and food services (+13%, +21,300); Retail and Wholesale Trade (+9%, +35,000); Educational services (+8%, +12,500); Transportation and warehousing (+7%, +9,900).

Stable and declining rural sectors – employment change over 2001 to 2009: Agriculture (0%, +1100); Forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas (-2%, -2,800); Manufacturing (-14%, -55,600).

Rural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent 28% of the estimated 1.4 million SMEs in Canada, higher than rural Canada's proportion of the overall population (19%), suggesting rural Canadians were more likely to be entrepreneurs than those living in urban centres.

The financial performance of rural SMEs is weaker than those in urban centres. Rural SMEs are more likely to request formal sources of financing such as commercial credit, and are more likely to be approved.

More than one third of rural SMEs do their day-to-day banking with credit unions and Caisses populaires compared to only 15 percent of urban SMEs. This highlights the importance of financial co-operatives to SMEs.

SMEs located in rural areas are more established, have fewer employees and are more likely to be self-employed operations.

In 2009, 21% of rural Canadians were self-employed, compared to 15% of urban Canadians.




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Rural Fact

Rural Canada is increasingly becoming diversified and service-based.