Employment rates, by Aboriginal identity

Despite some improvement, gaps remain between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples

  • The employment rate for Aboriginal people rose at a faster pace than that for non-Aboriginal people. While the gap has decreased, the employment rate for Aboriginal people was still well below the rate for non-Aboriginal people. In 2006, the employment rate for Aboriginal people aged 25 to 54 years was 65.8%, up from 61.2% in 2001.1 In contrast, the rate for non-Aboriginal people in 2006 was 81.6%, up from 80.3% in 2001.

  • Employment rates rose for all three Aboriginal groups: for the Métis in 2006, it was 74.6%, up 4.2 percentage points from 2001, while the rate for the Inuit was 61.1%, up 0.8 percentage points from 2001. There was a larger increase in employment rates for First Nations people2 living off-reserve than on-reserve. In 2006, 51.9% of the First Nations people living on-reserve were employed, which was up 2.0 percentage points from 2001, while it was 66.3% for First Nations people living off-reserve in 2006, up 5.5 percentage points from 2001. While the gap has decreased between the non-Aboriginal and the Métis and First Nations populations, the gap between Inuit and non-Aboriginal people was unchanged.

  • Employment rates were up for the First Nations population, regardless of registered Indian status. However, First Nations people who were treaty or registered Indians were less likely to be employed. For example, among the off-reserve population, 64.0% of First Nations people with registered status were employed, compared with 71.4% of their counterparts who were not registered Indians.

  • The unemployment rate for Aboriginal people aged 25 to 54 fell from 17.4% in 2001 to 13.2% in 2006; this decline of 4.2 percentage points was larger than the drop of 0.8 percentage points for the non-Aboriginal population, whose rate fell from 6% in 2001 to 5.2% in 2006. Despite this decline, Aboriginal people are still more than twice as likely as non-Aboriginal people to be unemployed.

Chart O.2
Employment rates of people aged 25 to 54, by Aboriginal identity groups, 2001 and 2006

Chart O.2 Employment rates of people aged 25 to 54, by Aboriginal identity groups, 2001 and 2006

Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 and 2006 censuses of Population.