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Environmental
Design and
Management
Limited

Land Use Plan &
Re-development
Strategy






 
 


2.3.1


Where will Employment Come From?

 

 

Population projections prepared in the late 1990s assumed a "more of the same" future for Cape Breton County (i.e., extrapolated past trends into the future). Consequently the projections of the time showed the region’s population declining (see Table 2.5). However, the changes in the CBRM economic base and the data that are now available suggest that the underlying growth trend will hold or strengthen. Table 2.5 below includes a population projection that assumes:

  • employment will grow 1.7% per year for the next 10 years (about 90% of the growth rate from early 1993 to early 2002 net of SYSCO and DEVCO effects)
  • labour participation rates will respond according to historical pat-terns, leading to an unemployment rate that could reach 11.5% (compared to the 13.9% in the first quarter of 2002)
  • labour force age group makes up about 80% of the population of the CBRM as it did in 1996.

Table 2.5 Cape Breton Island Population, 1996 2011
 

1996

2001

2006

2011

Cape Breton County*

117,849

109,330

108,982

112,467

CB Count**

117,84

109,33

106,52

103,56

Inverness County**

20,918

19,937

19,181

18,431

Richmond County**

10,822

10,225

9,726

9,232

Victoria County**

8,482

8,121

7,907

7,813

Cape Breton Island

158,271

147,454

145,796

147,974

Source: Census 1996, 2001 & EDM
Nova Scotia and Counties Population Projections, 1998 2008; Canmac Economics
* = EDM estimate
** = Canmac projections, re-based to 2001


With 1.7% annual employment growth and a declining population, the number unemployed will decline, as shown in Table 2.6, even if the participation rate of Cape Breton Island increases six percentage points.

Table 2.6 Cape Breton County Labour Force Characteristics 2001 2011
 

2001

2006

2011

Labour Force Age Group

89,905

87,707

89,861

Participation Rate

54.0%

58.0%

60.0%

Employed

40,306

43,850

47,707

Unemployed

8,285

7,020

6,211

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM II, tables 279-0005, 279-0006 and 279-0007
Catalogue no. 71-001-PIB; Nova Scotia Department of Finance, Publications, Employment Situation 1992-2001 and EDM.

Even with employment growth of about 1.7% per year the population of the Island will grow just slightly. This is due primarily to the fact that the CBRM has a large reserve of "discouraged workers" in the labour force age group (LFAG) who will enter the labour force as jobs become available, thus reducing out-migration but also limiting the attraction of in-migrants.

In a recent assessment of the labour force available for tele-service jobs, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation found that Cape Breton Island, and therefore likely the CBRM, has a large reserve of persons who are underemployed. That is, they have part-time work but want full-time employment. This group will add about 4,000 people to the number of people looking for full-time work. It is clear that the CBRM has sufficient numbers in the labour force to provide labour and to avoid labour demand driven inflation.

Our projections suggest that the CBRM economy has the potential to add about 7,400 jobs between 2001 and 2011. About 2,060 will come from the region’s underlying employment growth rate. A recent report by the Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation found that the Cape Breton Island economy could capture about 560 jobs from the major environmental remediation projects scheduled over the next 10 years or so.

Since we do not anticipate either a labour shortage or de-ma nd driven wage inflation, we believe that another 1,000 tele-centre jobs can be added in the next 10 years. This conclusion finds support in ECBC’s recent study of tele-service labour force availability. Multiplier effects associated with remediation work and tele-centre jobs will add another 780 jobs. This will leave about 300 jobs per year (inclusive of multiplier effects) to be generated by the "new economy" that could be fostered by this land use plan, other private investors and other economic growth actions of ECBC, the CBGF, NSBI and CBCEDA.


 
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