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Study: Labour force characteristics of the Métis: Findings from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey

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Released: 2014-12-09

The overall employment rate for the Métis population was similar to that of the total Canadian population in 2012. According to data from the 2012 Labour Force Survey (LFS), the employment rate of the Métis population was 60.7% compared with 61.8% for the Canadian population.

The 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) shows that Métis employment rates were highest in Canada's western provinces, with Alberta (68.1%), Manitoba (67.6%), British Columbia (66.1%) and Saskatchewan (65.9%) all above the national average.

Almost one-third of employed Métis work in sales and services

The occupational distribution of the Métis population reflects a young workforce. The most common occupation for Métis was sales and service occupations, accounting for 29.5% of the employed Métis population. The most common occupational groups for Métis men were trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (34.7%) as well as sales and service occupations (22.6%). Just over one-third (36.2%) of employed Métis women worked in sales and service occupations, while another 24.4% worked in business, finance and administrative occupations.

Among employed Métis men, the most common industries were construction (17.0%), manufacturing (11.3%), retail trade (8.5%) as well as transportation and warehousing (8.5%). For Métis women, the most common industries were health care and social assistance (22.6%), retail trade (12.7%), educational services (11.2%) and accommodation and food services (10.5%).

Job shortages is the most commonly reported barrier to finding employment

According to the 2012 LFS, the unemployment rate of Métis (10.3%) was higher than that of the Canadian population as a whole (7.2%).

Along with capturing the labour force outcomes of the Métis, the 2012 APS collected data on a series of questions that measured both difficulties in and methods of searching for work. The most commonly reported ways that unemployed Métis searched for work were by contacting potential employer(s) directly (58.5%) and by searching the Internet (57.8%). About one in five (20.1%) Métis searched for work through friend(s) or relative(s).

Respondents who were unemployed were asked to identify the factors that caused them difficulty in finding work. The most commonly reported difficulty for Métis was a shortage of jobs (62.5%). Just over half (51.1%) reported not having the experience required for available jobs, while a slightly smaller number reported not having enough education or training for available jobs.

Uncertainty also posed a difficulty in the job search for unemployed Métis, as 28.9% reported not knowing what type of job they wanted and 22.8% reported not knowing where to look for work. Just over one-quarter of unemployed Métis (27.7%) reported not having the means of transportation to get to available jobs.

Illness or disability the main cause reported for not seeking work

About one-third of the Métis population aged 15 years and over did not participate in the labour force (29.5%), according to the 2012 APS.

Among Métis who wanted a job, but had not looked for work in the week preceding the APS, 38.5% reported an illness or disability as the main reason. Another 21.4% reported the main reason for not seeking work was that they were going to school.

  Note to readers

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 451,790 people reported Métis identity, accounting for 32.3% of the total Aboriginal Identity population and 1.4% of the total population in Canada.

The Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) is a national survey on the social and economic conditions of Aboriginal Peoples (First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit) aged 6 years and over. The 2012 APS represents the fourth cycle of the survey and focuses on issues of education, employment and health, and collected information on a variety of labour force characteristics, including labour force status, industry, occupation, job tenure, full-time/part-time status and reported difficulties searching for work.

The article "Labour force characteristics of the Métis: Findings from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey" reports on the labour force status of Métis aged 15 years and older. The paper also examines characteristics of Métis employment such as industry, occupation and job tenure; and unemployment characteristics such as job search methods and reported difficulties finding work. See the article for a discussion on the comparability of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and APS. The results are for Métis and the total population in Canada in the provinces.

Data for the total population of Canada was drawn from a six-month average of the 2012 LFS, which corresponds with the collection period of the APS.

The employment rate is the number of employed persons as a percentage of the population 15 years of age and over. The rate for a particular group (for example, youths aged 15 to 24) is the number employed in that group as a percentage of the population for that group.

The unemployment rate is the number unemployed as a percentage of the labour force (employed and unemployed).

The participation rate is the number of employed and unemployed as a percentage of the population. For more detailed information, see the Guide to the Labour Force Survey (Catalogue number71-543-G).

The article "Labour force characteristics of the Métis: Findings from the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey" is now available in the publication Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2012 (Catalogue number89-653-X). From the Browse by key resource module of our website, choose Publications.

To order data, to obtain more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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