Facts About the Environmental Sector

  • There are over 682,000 environmental employees in Canada (4% of total workforce) who spend 50% or more of their time on environmental activities. Over 2,000,000 workers (12% of total workforce) spend some of their time on environmental activities.
  • Over 318,000 organizations in Canada employ at least one environmental employee (approximately 17% of Canadian organizations have one or more environmental employees).
  • 87% of environmental workers state that “a desire to improve the environment” is a key factor in their decision to make it their career.
  • Demographic groups within the environmental workforce include:

    • 40% of all environmental employees are women (representing 45% of the total Canadian employed labour force);
    • 2.5% of all environmental employees are Aboriginal persons;
    • 5.5% of environmental employees are recent immigrants (within the past 5 years); and
    • About a quarter (24%) is below 30 years of age. Fourteen percent of the environmental workforce is age 55 or older.
  • 41% of environmental consulting firms state that their staff requires further training in environmental skills.
  • 40% of waste management and environmental consulting firms state that their staff requires further training in essential skills.
  • 42% of employers lost workers because they were offered better benefits, higher income, better work-life balance, or better career opportunities at another organization. Only 19% of environmental employers lost workers due to reduction in workforce (layoffs) during the March 2009 - March 2010 period.
  • Retirements of environmental workers will create vacancies over the next decade as over 100,000 environmental employees (14% of the environmental workforce) reach retirement age.
  • Canada’s environmental sector is facing labour shortages all across the board due to the combination of an aging workforce and a demand for employees that is expected to rise by 1.6% annually from 2006 to 2011. Currently, 4% of the total employed Canadian labour force is engaged in environmental-related activities for at least 50% of their work time. Environmental skills are used by 12.2% of all employed workers.” (ECO, n.d)

All information by:

ECO Canada (n.d.). Fast Facts about the Environmental Sector. Retrieved from http://www.eco.ca/public/about/fast-facts/323/.

For more information about the environmental sector or for resources to help build your career, visit www.eco.ca.