Rural areas of P.E.I. face long-term challenges in pandemic recovery, report finds

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Large numbers of worker in primary industries increase the economic vulnerability of Prince and Kings counties. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
Large numbers of worker in primary industries increase the economic vulnerability of Prince and Kings counties. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

P.E.I.'s Kings and Prince counties face some serious challenges for economic recovery following the pandemic, according to a study released Wednesday morning by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.

The report examined a variety of factors — including the presence of vulnerable industries, population growth, average age, education levels, and average income — for 47 counties and divisions in Atlantic Canada, including the three counties in P.E.I. It was commissioned by the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce.

Kings County was found to have the third highest vulnerability in the region, and Prince County the ninth. Queens County was found to have a vulnerability close to the national average.

The factors that increased vulnerability in Kings and Prince were largely the same: a large percentage of residents working in primary industries for relatively low pay, and a relatively low percentage of the population with some post-secondary education.

During the pandemic, low-wage, low-skilled workers have been disproportionately affected.

Queens County is expected to benefit from a more diverse mix of employers Wages and education levels are about average.

Education levels in Queens County are at about the national average.
Education levels in Queens County are at about the national average.

Population growth was a positive sign in Queens and Kings counties, as a general indication of economic vibrancy, but high numbers of immigrants were a concern, because immigrants have also been more likely to suffer economic hardship during the pandemic.

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