Prince Edward Island economy
Our economy features a mix of traditional resources – agriculture, fisheries and tourism – that have undergone significant modernization as well as new industry sectors including bioscience and advanced manufacturing. Business acumen and entrepreneurship are at the core of PEI’s economic success.
The number of jobs in PEI reached an all-time high of 76,900 as of October 2018.
As of April 1, 2019, minimum wage is $12.25 per hour and the provincial government has numerous programs available to help students get into the job market.
Read more Prince Edward Island provincial nominee program
Farming in Prince Edward Island is a traditional industry with an important economic contribution. In 2018, farm cash receipts were valued at $496.0 million. Grains, potatoes, grains, and fruits are leading production growth.
According to the WorkPEI Employment Analysis, there are 4,600 people employed in agriculture in 2019.
Some job titles:
- Agriculture Technician
- Vegetable/fruit harvester
- Veterinarian/ Veterinary Technician
- Truck driver
- Agricultural Equipment dealer or mechanic
- Agricultural Engineer
The lobster fishery continues to grow with total landings 38.7 million pounds in 2018, valued at 200.2 million. Because Prince Edward Island’s population is too small to absorb this production, exports are a vital part of the industry. There are more 4,151 commercial fishers and 47 licensed processing facilities on Prince Edward Island. The industry employs as many as 8,000 individuals during peak productions.
Job titles in the Fishery industry
- Operations Manager
- Production Manager
- Parts Manager
- Port Captain
- Port Manager
- Forklift Operator
- Quality Control
- Night Sanitation Crew
- Production Line Worker
- Plant Custodian
- Product Manager
Each year, the Island hosts more than 1.5 million visitors who come from all over the world to relax, golf, eat, and experience Anne of Green GablesTM.
The industry provides 15,000 to 17,000 full-time, part-time, seasonal, and year-round jobs, which is equivalent to 7,900 full-time year-round jobs. Categories of work include:
- Accommodations: Housekeeping, front desk, general managers, and supervisors.
- Food & Beverage Services: Servers, bartenders, line cooks, chefs, kitchen staff, front end workers, supervisors and managers
- Travel Services: Visitor information counsellors and tour guides
- Transportation: Ferry boat captains, airport, taxi drivers, and motor coach drivers
- Recreation & Entertainment: Golf courses, bike rentals, outdoor adventures, and cultural events.
According to Tourism HR Canada, the Food and Beverage Services industry is the largest employer among tourism businesses, accounting for over 50 percent of tourism jobs.
Aerospace is one of the fastest growing sectors in Prince Edward Island with over 1,000 employees and annual sales of $362 million. Slemon Park, located in Summerside, is the only aerospace park in Canada that offers an on-site customized training centre.
The aerospace and defence industry in Prince Edward Island is thriving and enjoys many business advantages:
- A highly skilled and loyal workforce;
- Easy access to major international markets including Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, New York, and London;
- Customized incentive packages to meet the needs of any size business;
- A great quality of life and close working partnerships for owners and employees;
- A local aerospace training centre with programs that can be customized;
- Increased profit with a competitive cost structure;
- Canada’s only aerospace tax rebate;
- World class strategic infrastructure.
There are over 50 bioscience companies in Prince Edward Island employing 1,600 individuals and generating revenues that exceed just over $165 million annually. The bioscience industry is currently producing various animal and human health products, treatments for diseases as well as natural products.
Bioscience is a sector that provides employment for people with a wide range of qualifications, from entry level to PhD.
PEI Bioscience companies focus on:
- Human health & nutrition
- Fish health
- Animal health & nutrition
- Human/animal health diagnostics
- Contract manufacturing services
- Medical devices
Job titles include: scientist, quality control/assurance, engineering, production, and business administration
There are approximately 2,500 people employed by over 100 information and communications technology companies in the industry. The Island’s skilled workforce and low operation costs attract companies to establish in the province.
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is the national centre of expertise for the digital/computing economy.
The top five occupations experiencing labour shortages according to ICTC research area:
- Computer and Information Systems Managers
- Computer Engineers (expert Software Engineers and Designers)
- Database Analysts and Database Administrators
- Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
- Graphic Arts Technicians
Over 24 per cent of Prince Edward Island’s electrical needs are furnished through a combination of provincially and privately owned wind developments. The Island is a lead innovator in wind energy and is committed to continue researching and developing as the renewable energy industry grows.
The Creative / Cultural sector includes visual and performing arts, music, media, writing, heritage and more, which are collectively known as the creative industries.
CreativePEI works on behalf of 10 industries on PEI
- Contemporary Art
- Craft & Design
- Museums & Heritage
- Music & Sound Recording
- Writing & Publishing
Read more: Frequently asked questions about Prince Edward Island provincial nominee program