Job Market & Key Industries

Short commute times to employment mean more time to spend with family and friends. Accessibility to various unlimited outdoor recreational activities on land and to the ocean is a great complement to any industry and the personal lives of workers. Many of Cape Breton’s top companies have attracted senior management, researchers and other specialized workers from around the world by promoting the region’s unique quality of life

Top industries in Cape Breton for employment


Cape Breton is your gateway hub to North America. With some of the world’s deepest waters and direct shipping routes to Europe, the United States, South America and Asia, it is the first port of call on mainland North America for vessels transiting the Suez Canal.


Cape Breton is rich in seafood/aquaculture and agri-food raw products which can be utilized in value-added manufacturing. The ocean offers a rich and diverse economy for the Island that employs large numbers in outlying communities.


As the world looks to reduce carbon emissions and build a more sustainable economic foundation, the investment climate for alternatives in renewable energy production is stronger than ever before. Cape Breton Island has the optimal climate and spaces for renewable energy production.


Tourism is one of the key industries in Cape Breton with over 6,000 people employed in 600+ tourism-related businesses. With icons like the Cabot Trail and the Fortress of Louisbourg, world-class events like the Celtic Colours International Festival, and a flourishing reputation as one of the world’s finest golf destinations, visitors continue to demand growth in the desirable tourism sector on the island.


Few places in the world provide such strong support to bring an idea from the concept stage to the commercialization stage. With a growing cluster of over 40 firms involved in various IT-related activities, Cape Breton is an ideal place for companies looking to establish or grow operations. Innovative businesses create products and services in such diverse fields as medical devices, nutraceuticals, gaming and music production.


Cape Breton has proven to be an excellent location for firms that manufacture niche, high-value products and offer unique services to a range of manufacturing clients. Manufacturers producing products as diverse as medical imaging technology, high tensile synthetic rope and large cloud-based storage servers have selected Cape Breton as their base of operations due to skilled and loyal workforces, low turnover rates, quick turnaround production times and the low cost of business.


Cape Breton has a vast network of educational institutions, research facilities and economic development partners that can help to build your business from conceptualization through to commercialization and value-added product development. We have a history of sharing our expertise with others and this bodes well for start-up companies seeking out innovative partnerships.


The Sydney Tar Ponds Project is considered the most significant environmental remediation project in Canada. Combined with the closure and remediation of dozens of former Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO) coal mine sites, over $1 billion in remediation projects have been carried out over the past decade in Cape Breton. This work has created a formidable depth and breadth of engineering and environmental talent in the area.


Cape Breton is rich in minerals. From centuries of coal mining to the current exploration of rare-earth metals, mineral resources have attracted diverse investments in the region. Our mining track record has led to the development of one of the most skilled mining workforces in Canada.

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Last Modified: September 19, 2021