The inhabitants have traditionally earned their livelihood by fishing and by servicing fishing fleets operating off the coast of Newfoundland. The climate and the small amount of available land hardly favour activity such as farming and livestock (weather conditions are severe, which confines the growing season to a few weeks, and the soil contains significant peat and clay and is largely infertile). Since 1992, the economy has been in steep decline, following the depletion of fish stocks, the limitation of fishing areas and the ban imposed on all cod fishing by the Canadian Government.
The rise in unemployment has been curtailed by the state financial aid for the retraining of businesses and individuals. The construction of the second airport runway has also helped sustain the activity in the construction industry and public works. Fish farming, crab fishing and agriculture are being developed to diversify the local economy. The future of Saint Pierre and Miquelon rests on tourism, fisheries and aquaculture. Explorations are underway to exploit deposits of oil and gas. Tourism relies on the proximity to Canada, while commerce and crafts make up the bulk of the business sector.
The labour market is characterized by high seasonality, due to climatic hazards. Traditionally, all outdoor activities (construction, agriculture, etc.) were suspended between December and April. In 1999, the unemployment rate was 12.8%, and a third of the employed worked in the public sector. The employment situation was worsened by the complete cessation of deep sea fishing, the traditional occupation of the islanders, as the unemployment rate in 1990 was lower at 9.5%. The unemployment for 2010 shows a decrease from 2009, from 7.7% to 7.1%. Exports are very low (5.1% of GDP) while imports are significant (49.1% of GDP). About 70% of the islands’ supplies are imported from Canada or from France via Nova Scotia.
The official currency is the euro The Canadian dollar is also widely used and accepted, however exchange is usually given in Euro. The "Institut d'émission des départements d'outre-mer" (IEDOM), the French public institution responsible for issuing currency in the overseas territories that use the euro on behalf of the Bank of France, has had an agency in Saint Pierre since 1978. The islands have issued their own stamps from 1885 to the present, except for a period between 1 April 1978 and 3 February 1986 when French stamps were used.
Read more about this topic: Sport In Saint Pierre And Miquelon
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Famous quotes containing the word economy:
“It enhances our sense of the grand security and serenity of nature to observe the still undisturbed economy and content of the fishes of this century, their happiness a regular fruit of the summer.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The aim of the laborer should be, not to get his living, to get a good job, but to perform well a certain work; and, even in a pecuniary sense, it would be economy for a town to pay its laborers so well that they would not feel that they were working for low ends, as for a livelihood merely, but for scientific, or even moral ends. Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical terms.”
—Calvin Coolidge (18721933)