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 Chart 10 Employment rate by Aboriginal identity, population aged 25 to 54, 2006

Despite labour market improvement, Aboriginal people still less likely to be employed

In 2006, the employment rate for Aboriginal people of core working age (25 to 54) was 65.8%, up 4.6 percentage points from five years earlier. This compared to 81.6% for non-Aboriginal people in 2006, up 1.3 percentage points over the same five years.

In 2006, the employment rate was 60.4% for First Nations people aged 25 to 54. The employment rate for First Nations people living on reserve was 51.8% compared to 66.3% for those living off reserve. The employment rate was 61.1% for Inuit, while for Métis people was much higher at 74.6%.

Although Aboriginal people are still less likely than non-Aboriginal people to be employed, the employment rate gap decreased from 19.1 percentage points in 2001 to 15.8 percentage points in 2006. The gap decreased between the non-Aboriginal and the Métis and First Nations populations. However, the gap between Inuit and non-Aboriginal people was unchanged.1

Related data:

The following links to labour force data for the provinces and territories. Data tables are available for Aboriginal identity, Aboriginal ancestry, registered Indian status and Inuit regions.

Topic-based tabulations: Aboriginal labour characteristics

Related articles:

Aboriginal People Living Off-reserve and the Labour Market: Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2008-2009

This is the second report in the series. This report presents national estimates on the labour market experiences of Aboriginal people living off-reserve from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). These estimates are based on the years 2008-2009 and cover Aboriginal people living off-reserve in the ten provinces. This report examines the labour force characteristics of the Aboriginal people, namely the employment and unemployment rates by Aboriginal identity. The report provides estimates for non-Aboriginal as well as for Aboriginal, North American Indian, Métis and Inuit populations. Data are presented for the following characteristics: age, sex, educational attainment, province or region and industry.

Aboriginal People Living Off-reserve and the Labour Market: Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2007

This report draws on 2007 data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), which examines the labour market outcomes of Aboriginal populations living off-reserve for all 10 provinces. It includes such observations as the employment rate for Aboriginal people aged 25 to 54 being the highest in Alberta, where it reached 77.7% in 2007.

Canada's Changing Labour Force, 2006 Census: The provinces and territories

This report presents findings from the 2006 Census of Population labour release. Among other observations, it notes that the employment rate for Aboriginal people of core working age was 65.8% in 2006, up from 61.2% in 2001.

Aboriginal Population Profiles for Selected Cities and Communities

This product is a series of profiles for a number of census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations and communities across Canada with a large Aboriginal population, either in numbers or share of the area's total population. The series aims to present a demographic and socio-economic profile of the total Aboriginal population living in these areas. Demographic Data as well as information on living arrangements of children, education, labour, income, mobility, housing, and health are highlighted. While most of the focus is on adults, there is also limited information provided on children. Data showing comparisons between Aboriginal groups are provided for selected variables, as are comparisons with the non-Aboriginal population. Findings are based on the 2006 Census and the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey.

Several articles in Canadian Social Trends.


  1. Statistics Canada. Canada's Changing Labour Force, 2006 Census: The provinces and territories.Aboriginal peoples in the workforce.
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