A quarter of a million First Nations people living off reserve are of core working age
The off-reserve First Nations population continues to grow significantly, and is projected to represent an increasing percentage of the total population. As it is also a young population, there is potential for young First Nations workers to enter the labour force.
The 2016 Census found that there were 251,465 First Nations people living off reserve aged 25 to 54 years (core working age). In addition, there were 112,270 First Nations youth aged 15 to 24 and close to 100,000 First Nations adults aged 55 and older living off reserve. Employment rates varied with age, with 64% of core working age adults, 40% of youth and 34% of older adults being employed. A higher share of men (54%) than women (50%) were employed.
A majority (82%) of employed First Nations people living off reserve aged 15 years and older had a permanent job. Of the 18% that did not work a permanent job, 8% worked a temporary, term or contract job, 5% worked a seasonal job, 4% worked a casual job, and 1%E worked a job that was in some other way non-permanent.
A shortage of jobs the most commonly cited barrier to finding employment
When asked about various barriers to finding employment, almost two-thirds (63%) of unemployed First Nations people living off reserve reported that a shortage of jobs had caused them difficulty in finding work. Higher percentages in Alberta (80%) and in Yukon (77%) reported this difficulty than in Quebec (48%) and Ontario (49%).
When asked what would help most to find a job, 22% reported that an increase in the number of available jobs would help them most. In 2017, 13% of First Nations people living off reserve aged 25 to 54 had moved for job-related reasons in the past five years. Higher percentages of unemployed (24%) than employed (14%) had moved.
To look for work, many First Nations people living off reserve (53%) used a combination of methods; 6 in 10 (63%) used the Internet to look for work and 1 in 2 (49%) contacted potential employers directly. Other methods included approaching friends or relatives, contacting public employment agencies, and placing or answering newspaper ads.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at The Daily — Labour Market Experiences of First Nations people living off reserve: Key findings from the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey