August 02, 2013

[Guelph, Ontario, July 30, 2013] 

Rural Ontario has different employment challenges than urban areas.  Three new Focus on Rural Ontario fact sheets feature employment-related information, and another looks at the Aboriginal Identity population in Ontario.  Based on Statistics Canada data, these easy-to-read fact sheets highlight the changing dynamics of rural Ontario’s population, communities and economies.

Janet Horner, Rural Ontario Institute Board Chair says, “There are some important challenges highlighted in these Focus on Rural Ontario fact sheets, such as the new and recent trend of non-metro employment rates shrinking over the last 10 months, even while urban employment has grown.  Meanwhile, looking ahead 10 years, there are some non-metro areas where the number of people leaving the workforce through retirement will be higher than the number of young people entering the workforce.  If nothing else changes, labour shortages may become a limiting factor on economic success in many non-metro areas.”

 “Some interesting, and maybe surprising information outlined here is that about half the Aboriginal Identity population lives in large, southern Ontario cities.  At the same time, some rural areas in southern Ontario actually have an Aboriginal Identity population larger than many northern census divisions.  But in the north, a high percentage of young entrants into the workforce will be from the Aboriginal Identity population so their skill development and education will be important factors for the success of those regional economies.”   

Focus on Rural Ontario fact sheets highlight important challenges that should be discussed and better understood so that economic development policies and appropriate government or private sector responses can help rural economies adapt to changes and trends.  All 12 Focus on Rural Ontario fact sheets are available at

Many larger public organizations have statistical analysts who can access Statistics Canada data directly.  For the many who do not have that capacity, the Rural Ontario Institute commissioned this series to help build understanding of key demographic and economic trends affecting this huge region of the province.  The Rural Ontario Institute is a non-profit organization committed to developing leaders, initiating dialogue, supporting collaboration and promoting action on issues and opportunities facing rural Ontario.

For more information:

Arlene Warner

Manager, Communications and Fund Development

Rural Ontario Institute

519.826.4204 ext 223

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