The figures challenge the myth of a "wealthy and homogenous" English community in Quebec, according to a new report.
A report from the Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) released on February 17 shows the unemployment rate for anglophone Quebecers (8.9%) is 2% higher than it is for francophones (6.9%), while the provincial average is 7.2%.
Anglophones have higher jobless rates in 15 of the province's 17 administrative regions, it found, especially in the Capitale Nationale, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and in Côte-Nord — where their unemployment rate is a whopping 25.5%.
"This report challenges the myth of Quebec's English-speakers as a wealthy and homogenous community," stated Nicholas Salter, executive director of the PERT, in a news release.
"Given the current labour shortage, this report demonstrates the importance of developing solutions to ensure that Quebec’s English-speaking communities are able to fully contribute to building a strong and vibrant Quebec economy," he continued.
The report also found English-speaking Quebecers have lower median after-tax incomes than French speakers in 14 out of the 17 regions, especially in Estrie, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Nord-du-Québec, and Centre-du-Québec. In Centre-du-Québec, English speakers earn at least $4,000 less than French speakers.
"English speakers — who represent 13.8% of Quebec’s population and 14.3% of its labour force – face considerable challenges in the labour market," the report states.
Anglophones had the lowest labour force participation in resource and manufacturing focused regions such as Estrie, Abitibi–Témiscamingue, Nord-du-Québec, Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the Laurentides.
PERT, a non-profit group focused on addressing the employment challenges facing Québec's English-speaking community, used 2016 census data and more recent information from Institut de la Statistique du Québec to create the report, stating "new employment programming and policy action must be grounded in a shared understanding of the various needs of communities, including linguistic minorities."
"Once considered to be a homogeneous elite, Quebec’s English-speaking community has undergone considerable changes over the past four decades," states the report. "Today, Quebec's English-speaking population consists of a heterogeneous group of communities."
"Quebec's English-speaking communities are also increasingly diverse," it continues. "One quarter of Quebec's English-speaking population belongs to a visible minority, the majority of whom are Black or South Asian."