More than half of town’s working age residents have postsecondary qualifications

By on December 5, 2017

The final release of 2016 census data shows that more than half of Osoyoos residents of working age have postsecondary qualifications and more than half of residents aged 15 and over are not in the work force. (© Richard McGuire photo)

More than half of Osoyoos residents between the ages of 25 and 64 have a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree.

Last week Statistics Canada released the final tranche of data from the 2016 census, which shows Osoyoos residents have education levels comparable to national figures.

Where Osoyoos differs sharply from the Canadian norm is in labour market participation – significantly more than half the residents in this retirement community are not in the labour force.

When the entire population of Osoyoos aged 15 and over is considered, 49.3 per cent have a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree.

But when only the population aged 25 to 64 is considered, the percentage increases to 56.7 per cent.

Interestingly, there is not a significant gender divide at the university level. Among the 180 residents 25 to 65 with a Bachelor’s degree, half are men and half are women, taking into account that StatsCan rounds numbers to the nearest five.

Those with Master’s degrees are also evenly split.

Gender differences are sharp however among those with trades certificates or diplomas and those with college credentials.

The number of men with trades credentials (230) is more than double the number of women (105).

Conversely, women are more than twice as likely as men to have a college certificate or diploma (325 women to 160 men).

At the national level, more than half (54 per cent) of Canadians aged 25 to 64 had either college or university qualifications, says Statistics Canada. This is up from 48.3 per cent in 2006.

Canada continues to rank first among developed countries in the proportion of college and university graduates.

This is due to Canada’s large college sector, which is not seen in most other countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), StatsCan says.

Among the 4,420 Osoyoos residents aged 15 and over, 2,550 are not in the labour force.

This figure includes those who have retired and those who stay home to raise a family, but it doesn’t include the unemployed, who are still considered to be in the labour force.

The unemployment rate in Osoyoos at the time of the May 2016 census was 7.2 per cent.

Among the 2,100 Osoyoos residents who worked in 2015, only 795 worked full time all year round. The remaining 1,300 either worked part time or only part of the year.

The most common industries of employment for Osoyoos residents were accommodation and food services (350), retail trade (205), health care and social assistance (185) and construction (180).

Among workers, there is a sharp gender divide, especially in health care and social assistance, where women outnumber men 170 to 20.

Retail is also dominated by women (135), compared to 75 men.

Construction, however, is a man’s world with 175 men and 10 women.

Accommodation and food services are more evenly split with 190 women and 160 men.

In this census data, StatsCan also looked at the commuting times of Canadians, which is often measured in hours in major cities.

Among the 1,610 Osoyoos residents in the employed labour force, 950 took less than 15 minutes to get to work. Only 45 took an hour or more.

RICHARD McGUIRE

Osoyoos Times

 

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