Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2017
Labour Market Experiences of First Nations people living off reserve: Key findings from the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey

Release date: November 26, 2018 Correction date: December 11, 2018

Correction Notice

Corrections have been made to this product.
Please take note of the following changes:

November 27, 2018

Data Table descriptions for chart 4, entitled ‘Barriers to employment reported by unemployed First Nations men and women living off reserve aged 15 or older in 2017’ was corrected to remove asterisk from reference group.

The correction was made to the chart data table description and does not affect the chart itself.

December 11, 2018

On December 11, 2018, as a result of a data rounding error, a correction was made to table 2 titled ‘Percentage of employed off-reserve First Nations people aged 15 years or older who were self-employed in 2017 by province and territory’ with the percent  for Atlantic Canada being revised upwards to 9E from 8E.

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The 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) marks the fifth cycle of this national survey of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit aged 15 or older. In 2017, the survey focused on participation in the economy. The APS provides data on a wide-range of topics including labour, education, language, housing and health to inform policy and programming activities aimed at improving the well-being of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis, and Inuit. It is a valuable source of information for Indigenous organizations, communities, service providers, researchers, governments, and the general public.

The following are findings for people who self-identified as First Nations people and were living off reserve. Also available are Labour Market Experiences of Métis: Key results from the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (Catalogue no. 89-653-x2018002) and Labour Market Experiences of Inuit: Key results from the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (Catalogue no. 89-653-x2018004).

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Building partnerships

Meaningful engagement and relationship building are highly valued at Statistics Canada. We are working to strengthen lines of communication with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities through our Aboriginal Liaison Advisors (ALAs). This network of eleven advisors across the country work with communities and organizations to increase the understanding of, and access to, Statistic Canada products and services, as well as promote the use of these data sources for decision-making and community-planning activities.

A number of Indigenous organizations and people played a key role in either the development or testing of the survey over the five cycles of the APS. New content for the 2017 APS questionnaire was extensively tested with First Nations, Métis and Inuit respondents before it was finalized. Indigenous people were hired as interviewers and guides during data collection. As well, various National Indigenous Organizations worked with Statistics Canada to promote participation in the APS, and to review analytical findings.

Statistical capacity building

Statistics Canada is supporting an Indigenous Statistical Capacity Initiative, grounded in the needs of First Nations people, Métis and Inuit and aimed at providing expanded services and working together to build statistical capacity through training, engagement, and outreach.

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Setting the context

In 2016, there were 642,845 First Nations people living off reserve.

Most of these First Nations people were living in population centres.

Chart 1

Data table for Chart 1 
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Population centre type (appearing as row headers), First Nations people living off reserve, calculated using number units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Population centre type First Nations people living off reserve
number
Rural 147,650
Small population centres (1,000 to 29,999) 140,310
Medium population centres (30,000 to 99,999) 100,895
Large population centres (100,000+) 253,985

Approximately, two-thirds (65%) of First Nations people living off reserve reported being Status Indians.

The average age of the First Nations population living off reserve was 31 years, 10 years younger than the average age of the non-Aboriginal population.


Table 1
First Nations population living off reserve in 2016, by age group
Table summary
This table displays the results of First Nations population living off reserve in 2016. The information is grouped by Age group (appearing as row headers), Population (appearing as column headers).
Age group Population
15 to 24 years 112,270
25 to 54 years 251,465
55 years or older 99,720
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Definition

Three age groups are used in this booklet:

The ‘younger/young adults’ are those aged 15 to 24.

The ‘core working age adults’ are those aged 25 to 54, as individuals in this age group are more likely to have completed school and be available for full-time work than those aged 15 to 24, and less likely to have entered retirement than those 55 or older.

The ‘older adults’ are those aged 55 or older.

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Employment

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Context from the 2016 census

Around half (52% or 240,960 individuals) of First Nations people living off reserve aged 15 or older were employed in 2016

A higher share of men (54%) than women (50%) were employed in 2016.

Employment varied with age, with  64% of core working age adults, 40% of youth and young adults, and 34% of older adults being employed in 2016.

Employment rates for core working age First Nations people living off reserve ranged from a high of 72% in Quebec to a low of 54% in Manitoba.

Employment rates also varied with level of education, with 77% of First Nations people with a university degree being employed compared to 56% of those who completed high school, and 29% of those with less than a high school diploma.

First Nations people living off reserve have made gains in high school and postsecondary completion. In 2016, 40% of First Nations people aged 15 and over had completed a postsecondary certificate diploma or degree, up from 36% in 2006. The percentage with less than a high school diploma dropped from 40% in 2006 to 32% in 2016.

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Most employed First Nations people living off reserve had a permanent job in 2017

In 2017, 82% of employed First Nations people worked at a permanent job. Of the 18%  who worked a non-permanent job in 2017; 8% had a temporary, term, or contract job, 5% had a seasonal job, 4% had a casual job and 1%E had a job that was non-permanent for other reasons.

Among employed First Nations people, women were more likely to work multiple jobs

Less than one in ten (8%) employed First Nations people worked multiple jobs. Women were more likely to do so than men (9% versus 6%).

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Did you know?

About 44% of First Nations people living off reserve were preparing for their retirement on their own or through an employer pension plan.

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Self-employment

Over one in ten (11%) employed First Nations people living off reserve were self-employed in 2017

Employed men were more likely to be self-employed (13%) than employed women (8%).


Table 2
Percentage of employed off-reserve First Nations people aged 15 years or older who were self-employed in 2017 by province and territory
Table summary
This table displays the results of Percentage of employed off-reserve First Nations people aged 15 years or older who were self-employed in 2017 by province and territory. The information is grouped by Province or territory (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Province or territory Percent
Atlantic Canada 8Note E: Use with caution
Quebec 13
Ontario 11
Manitoba 8Note E: Use with caution
Saskatchewan 11Note E: Use with caution
Alberta 11
British Columbia 11
Yukon 11
Northwest Territories 6Note E: Use with caution

Over one-third of self-employed First Nations people living off reserve owned an incorporated business, although this varied across Canada

While 36% of self-employed First Nations people owned an incorporated business, this share was higher among men than women (45% versus 24%). Regionally, the share ranged from around half (53%) of those in Alberta to about a quarter (24%E) of those in British Columbia.

Almost a third of self-employed First Nation people had employees

While 30% of self-employed First Nations people had employees, self-employed men were more likely to have hired employees (36%) than women (21%E).

Freedom or independence the leading reason for choosing self-employment (31%)

Other notable reasons reported for being self-employed were the possibility of greater income (12%E) and the nature of the job (10%E).

Most (88%) self-employed First Nations people did not receive outside assistance for their business 

Only 12%E of self-employed First Nations people reported receiving outside assistance. Of those that did receive assistance, 44%E received assistance from an Aboriginal Government, Aboriginal organization, or Aboriginal financial institution. Further, 28%E of self-employed First Nations people received assistance from a provincial or municipal government and a quarter (25%E) of self-employed First Nations people received assistance from the federal government.

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Definition

Outside business assistance includes: financial assistance, procurement programs, and information on business opportunities, help establishing business contracts, and training/development programs.

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Part-Time Employment

About one in five (21%) employed First Nations people living off reserve worked part-time (less than 30 hours per week at their main job)

Women were more likely to work part-time than men (27% versus 14%). Younger First Nations people were more likely to work part-time (43%) than core working age adults (14%) or older adults (22%).

Chart 2

Data table for Chart 2 
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2. The information is grouped by Reason for working part-time (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Reason for working part-time Percent
Involuntary part-time 31
Going to school 30
Other reasons 15
Own preference 11
Caring for own children 7Note E: Use with caution
Own illness or disability 5Note E: Use with caution
Other personal or family responsibilities 2Note E: Use with caution

For nearly a third (31%) of First Nations people working part-time, part-time work was not a choice

About a quarter (24%) of young First Nations people, 36% of core working age adults and 34% of older adults who worked part-time did so involuntarily.

Caring for children a leading reason for working part-time among core working age women

About one-fifth (19%E) of core working age women who worked part-time reported doing so because they were caring for their children.

The majority of young adults who worked part-time did so to attend school

Over half (58%) of young First Nations people who worked part-time did so to attend school, compared with 13% of core working age adults. Across provinces and territories, the percentage of young First Nations people who worked part-time because they were attending school ranged from 84% in the Northwest Territories to 45% in Alberta.

Chart 3

Data table for Chart 3 
Data table for Chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 3. The information is grouped by Province or territory (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Province or territory Percent
Atlantic Canada 55
Quebec 83
Ontario 58
Manitoba 60
Saskatchewan 68
Alberta 45Note E: Use with caution
British Columbia 51
Yukon 72
Northwest Territories 84
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Definition

Involuntary part-timer workers are those who work part-time because they are:
a)
Not able to find work with more than 30 hours per week, or
b)
Not being offered more than 30 hours per week due to economic or business conditions.

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Other Labour Activities

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Definition

There are other labour activities that can contribute to economic well-being that may not be captured with conventional measures. The APS asks about: hunting, fishing and trapping, gathering wild plants, making clothing or footwear and making carvings, jewellery and other kinds of artwork.

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About six in ten First Nations people living off reserve participated in other labour activities during the past year

Most (59%) First Nations people over the age of 15 participated in other labour activities during the last year. Six percent of First Nations people aged 15 or older reported doing other labour activities for money or to supplement their income in 2017. First Nations people who were unemployed were more likely to  have done these activities for income (10%), than those who were employed (6%) or otherwise not in the labour force (5%).


Table 3
Prevalence of harvesting and handicraft activities among First Nations People living off reserve in 2017 by province or territory
Table summary
This table displays the results of Prevalence of harvesting and handicraft activities among First Nations People living off reserve in 2017 by province or territory. The information is grouped by Province or territory (appearing as row headers), Hunted, fished or trapped , Gathered wild plants, Made clothes or footwear and Making carvings, drawings,
jewellery or other kinds of
artwork, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Province or territory Hunted, fished or trapped Gathered wild plants Made clothes or footwear Made carvings, drawings,
jewellery or other kinds of
artwork
percent
Atlantic Canada 45 52 10 31
Quebec 36 24 8Note E: Use with caution 25
Ontario 34 28 9 27
Manitoba 30 23 8 22
Saskatchewan 33 24 10Note E: Use with caution 22
Alberta 32 29 9 26
British Columbia 28 30 9 26
Yukon 58 47 19 25
Northwest Territories 37 30 14 16

Hunting, fishing and trapping

Gathering wild plants, for example berries, rice or sweet grass

Making clothes and footwear

Making carvings, drawings, jewellery or other kinds of artwork

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Did you know?

Most off-reserve First Nations people (72%) helped out in their community at least once per month during the past 12 months

Around three in ten (28%) First Nations people over the age of 15 volunteered for a group or organization at least once per month. In addition, over two in three (67%) reported helping people out on their own, not on behalf of an organization. For example, caring for someone’s home, driving someone to an appointment, visiting the elderly, shovelling snow or unpaid babysitting.

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Unemployment

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Context from the 2016 census

The unemployment rate among off reserve First Nations people was 15% (43,655 individuals) in 2016

The unemployment rate was higher among men (17%) than women (14%). Rates varied by age group with higher rates among young First Nations people (23%) than core working age (13%) or older adults (13%).

Unemployment rates among First Nations people living off reserve ranged from 24% in the Yukon and 20% in Saskatchewan to 11% in Quebec and 13% in Ontario.

Unemployment rates varied with level of education, and were lower among First Nations people with a university degree (7%) than among those with a high school diploma (16%) or those with less than a high school diploma (25%).

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Barriers to employment

Chart 4

Data table for Chart 4 
Data table for Chart 4
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 4. The information is grouped by Barriers to employment (appearing as row headers), Men (reference group) and Women, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Barriers to employment Men (reference group) Women
percent
A shortage of jobs 65 61
Not having the work experience 46 52
Not having enough education or training 40 51Note *
Not having the means of transportation 38 36
Not knowing the type of job one wanted 28 30
Not knowing where to look for work 21 26
Other 19 32Note *

A shortage of jobs was the most commonly experienced barrier to employment

A shortage of jobs was more commonly experienced by unemployed First Nations people in Alberta (80%) and in the Yukon (77%) than in Quebec and Ontario (48% and 49%).

Women were more likely to report not having enough education or training for available jobs

About half (51%) of women compared with 40% of men reported that not having enough education or training for available work made it difficult to find work.

Challenges experienced by young First Nations people in finding work differed from older age groups

Not having enough work experience for available jobs was reported by a higher share of young First Nations people (59%) than core working age adults (45%) or older adults (27%).

Similarly, young First Nations people were more likely to have had difficulty finding work because they did not know what type of job to look for (41%) than core working age adults (22%) or older adults (9%).

Half of unemployed First Nations people in Saskatchewan reported not having the means of transportation to get to available jobs

First Nations people in Saskatchewan (51%) and British Columbia (44%) were more likely to say that not having the means of transportation to get to available jobs caused them difficulty in finding work than those in Atlantic Canada (28%E), Quebec (29%) and Ontario (33%).

What would help?

Chart 5

Data table for Chart 5 
Data table for Chart 5
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 5. The information is grouped by What would help most to find work (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
What would help most to find work Percent
More jobs/work available 22
Other 17
Skills training (e.g., computer, language, writing, skilled trades, etc.) 14
More education (academic) 13
Transportation 10
Work experience 9
Contacts or networking 4Note E: Use with caution
Child care assistance 3Note E: Use with caution
Better health / younger / older 3Note E: Use with caution
Moving to another city/region 2Note E: Use with caution
Job finding clubs 2Note E: Use with caution

What would help most in finding a job varied among First Nations men and women

Men were more likely than women to say that skills training would help most in finding a job (17% versus 10%E). Women (7%E) were more likely to say that childcare assistance would help them most in gaining employment. They were also more likely to say that work experience would help them most (12%E) compared with men (6%E).

Young First Nations people more likely to say work experience would be most helpful to gaining employment

Around one in six (17%) youth and young adults said work experience would help them most in finding work and were more likely to say so than other age groups.

‘More jobs’ commonly reported in rural areas as helping them most to find work

More than a third (35%) of those living in rural areas reported that more jobs would help them most to find work compared with those in large population centres (20%) and small population centres (20%E).

Core working age First Nations people looking for work were more likely to have moved for job-related reasons than those who were employed or not in the labour force

Around one in eight (13%) core working age First Nations people had moved for job-related reasons in the past five years. Those who were unemployed (24%) were more likely to have moved in the past five years than those who were employed (14%) or not in the labour force (8%). Core working age men were more likely to have moved in the past five years  than core working age women (16% versus 11%).

Method of looking for work

Around half of unemployed First Nations people living off reserve used two or more methods to look for work

About 53% of unemployed First Nations people used two or more methods to look for work, although this was higher among men (60%) than women (44%).

Chart 6

Data table for Chart 6 
Data table for Chart 6
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 6. The information is grouped by Reason for not looking for work (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Reason for not looking for work Percent
Searched the Internet 63
Contacted potential employer(s) directly 49
Through friend(s)/relative(s) 20
Contacted public employment agency 19
Placed or answered newspaper ad(s) 11
Other 10
Contacted Aboriginal organization or Aboriginal employment agency 7Note E: Use with caution
Community bulletin boards/radio 7Note E: Use with caution
Was referred by a union 3Note E: Use with caution

Methods of looking for work varied across age groups

Younger First Nations people were more likely (54%) to look for work by directly contacting potential employers than older adults (36%E). Over a quarter (26%) of core working age First Nations people contacted a public employment agency, a higher share than among older adults (14%E) or young adults (11%E).

First Nations people in Alberta were almost twice as likely as those in the Northwest Territories to look for work through the internet

Using the internet to look for work varied by province and territory as well as population centre type.

Among First Nations people in Alberta, nearly three in four (73%) used this method in comparison to about four in ten (38%) in the Northwest Territories.

In large population centres, about two thirds (69%) looked for work through the internet compared with 53% of those in small population centres and 56% of those in rural areas.

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Did you know?

Nine in ten (90%) off-reserve First Nations people have access to the internet at home

First Nations people in the Yukon (76%) and the Northwest Territories (79%) were less likely to have internet access at home than all other regions (87%-91%).

About eight in ten (79%) First Nations people used a smart phone, tablet, or other wireless device to access the internet in the past month

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Table 4
Access to internet at home and use of internet on wireless devices among First Nations People living off reserve in 2017 by province or territory
Table summary
This table displays the results of Access to internet at home and use of internet on wireless devices among First Nations People living off reserve in 2017 by province or territory. The information is grouped by Province or territory (appearing as row headers), Had access to the internet at home and Accessed internet on wireless device in the past month, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Province or territory Had access to the internet at home Accessed internet on wireless device in the past month
percent
Atlantic Canada 90 75
Quebec 89 75
Ontario 91 79
Manitoba 89 81
Saskatchewan 87 87
Alberta 91 85
British Columbia 91 82
Yukon 76 75
Northwest Territories 79 79

Not in the Labour Force

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Definition

Individuals can be out of the labour force for a number of reasons including: being retired, caring for children/other family members, going to school, having a chronic illness or disability, or being a discouraged worker (those who want employment and are available to work but are not seeking work because they believe they cannot find suitable work)

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Context from the 2016 census

Among First Nations people living off reserve aged 15 or older, over a third (39% or 178,855 individuals) were not in the labour force in 2016

The share of First Nations people who were not in the labour force was higher among women (42%) than men (35%). By age group, non-participation in the labour force was highest among older adults (61%) followed by young adults (48%) and core working age adults (26%).

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Main reason

Of First Nations people that were not in the labour force in 2017, 22% wanted to work in the previous week

The percentage of those who were not in the labour force but wanted to work in the previous week varied by age group, with 39% of young First Nations people, 28% of core working age adults and 7% of older adults wanting to work in the previous week.

Chart 7

Data table for Chart 7 
Data table for Chart 7
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 7. The information is grouped by Reason for not looking for work (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Reason for not looking for work Percent
Own illness or disability 32
Going to school 19
Other reasons 18
Caring for own children 12Note E: Use with caution
Other personal or family responsibilities 7Note E: Use with caution
Believed no work available 5Note E: Use with caution
Waiting for recall/reply 4Note E: Use with caution
No reason given 3Note E: Use with caution

Illness or disability the leading reason for not looking for work despite wanting to work among First Nations people living off reserve

Illness or disability accounted for almost a third (32%) overall and half (49%) of core working age First Nations people who wanted to work but were not in the labour force. Further, illness or disability was a more common reason for being out of the labour force among First Nations people within Ontario (41%) and British Columbia (40%E) than among those living Manitoba (14%E).

Caring for children a leading reason for First Nations women to not be in the labour force despite wanting to work

Among core working age women who were not in the labour force but wanted to work, 21%E did not look for work because they were caring for own children.

Going to school was the leading reason young First Nations people were not in the labour force despite wanting to work

While 38% of young First Nations people reported “going to school” as the reason they did not look for work, this varied by region with a greater share of young adults in Atlantic Canada (66%) reporting this reason than in Manitoba (27%E).

Discouraged searchers more prevalent in rural areas

Among First Nations people who wanted to work, believing no work was available (discouraged searcher) was a more common reason for not looking for work in rural areas (16%E) compared with overall national estimate (5%E).

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Did you know?

Disability screening questions have been added to the 2017 APS, allowing for a deeper understanding of how disabilities impact the lives of First Nations people.

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What would help?

Over a third (35%) of those who were currently not in the labour force expected to look for work within the next 12 months

Over three-quarters (76%) of youth and young adults, 38% of core working age  adults, and 8% of older adults who were not in the labour force planned to look for work in the next 12 months.

Chart 8

Data table for Chart 8 
Data table for Chart 8
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 8. The information is grouped by What would help to find work (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
What would help to find work Percent
More
education
(academic)
29
Skills
training
25
More
jobs/work
available
19
Work
experience
17
Résumé
writing
skills
16
Better
health
16
Contacts/
networking
14
Other 14
Job
finding
clubs
13
Transportation 12
Child
care
assistance
12
Moving
to another
city/region
5Note E: Use with caution
Help in
starting
a business
4Note E: Use with caution

Child care assistance was seen as helpful by a larger share of women than men

Childcare assistance was reported as helping by 12% of First Nations people who planned on looking for work in the next 12 months, with a greater share of women saying this (21%). Among core working age women, access to childcare was considered more helpful in gaining employment than among youth and young adults (28% versus 12%E).

Furthering an education was seen as helpful by about a third of First Nations people planning to look for work in the next 12 months

While 29% overall saw more academic education as being helpful, this was more common among core working age adults (35%) and young adults (29%) than older adults (12%E).  Regionally, the share believing education would help them find work ranged from highs of 42% in the Northwest Territories, 36%E in Saskatchewan and 35% in British Columbia (35%) to lows of 13%E in Quebec and 24% in Alberta.

Work experience and résumé writing skills were more commonly seen as helpful to finding work by younger First Nations people, other age groups were more likely to report ‘better health’

About one-fifth (22%) of young First Nations people compared with 12%E of core working age adults believed work experience would help them find work. Similarly, résumé writing skills were more often reported as helpful by younger First Nations people than core working age adults (23% versus 10%E).

On the contrary, having better health was more often reported to help in finding work by both core working age adults (23%) and older adults (25%) than young adults (9%E).

Skills and training

First Nations men were more likely to identify reading and writing as limiting their job prospects, while women were more likely to report their ability to work with numbers limited their job prospects

Men were more likely than women to state that their writing skills limited their job prospects (24% versus 18%). This trend was similar for reading skills with 20% of men reporting that their reading skills were limiting compared with 15% of women. In contrast, First Nations women were more likely than men to state their ability to work with numbers limited their job prospects (31% versus 24%).

Older adults more likely to view their computer skills as limiting, while youth and young adults were more likely to perceive their ability to work with numbers as limiting

Older adults were more likely to report that their computer skills limited their job opportunities (47%) than core working age adults (36%), with both age groups more likely to have reported this than young First Nations people (31%). In contrast, a larger share of youth and young adults (35%) reported that their ability to work with numbers limited their job prospects  than core working age (26%) and older adults (21%).

Chart 9

Data table for Chart 9 
Data table for Chart 9
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 9. The information is grouped by Labour Force Status and skill type (appearing as row headers), Percent very limiting and Percent somewhat limiting, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Labour Force Status and skill type Percent very limiting Percent somewhat limiting
percent
Computer skills Employed 8 22
Unemployed 11 33
Not in Labour
Force
19 25
Writing skills Employed 3 12
Unemployed 5Note E: Use with caution 21
Not in Labour
Force
10 23
Numeracy skills Employed 4 16
Unemployed 8Note E: Use with caution 28
Not in Labour
Force
13 29

Over a third of First Nations people living off reserve took courses, workshops, seminars, or training to develop their job skills in the past 12 months

Of the 36% that took this training, 78% participated in job specific training (e.g., professional training, equipment, occupational health and safety training).

Among First Nations people that did not take part in any training, 28% wanted to take courses, workshops, seminars, or training to develop their job skills

Most First Nations people who wanted to take training wanted job-specific training (59%). The most common barriers preventing them from taking training to develop their job skills were expense (46%), family responsibilities (44%), and being too busy to take training (44%).

The Aboriginal Peoples Survey and the Census

The Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) takes place after each Census of Population. While the Census provides key demographic, social and economic characteristics, the APS is designed to dig deeper to provide more understanding of the experiences, aspirations, and needs of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit. Some examples:

Census of Population

Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS)

These are just a few examples of what information is available. Taken together, the Census and APS create a rich source of information about the experiences and socioeconomic conditions of the Indigenous population. Other broader topics explored in the APS include:

Figure 1

Description for Figure 1

2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey topics

  • Community Involvement
  • Sense of belonging
  • Volunteering
  • Disability
  • Education
  • Training
  • Aboriginal language
  • Information technology
  • Internet access
  • Housing
  • Income
  • Basic needs
  • Mobility
  • Health care access
    • Access to doctor, nurse
    • Disease screening
    • Dental care
  • Health & wellbeing
    • Physical health
      • BMI
      • Chronic conditions
      • Injuries
    • Mental health
  • Food and nutrition
  • Food security

About the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey

Target population:

The 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) is a national survey of the Aboriginal identity population aged 15 years or older as of January 15, 2017, living in private dwellings, excluding people living on Indian reserves and settlements and in certain First Nations communities in Yukon and Northwest Territories. The concept of "Aboriginal identity" refers to those persons who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, namely, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuit, those who reported being a Status Indian (Registered Indian or Treaty Indian, as defined by the Indian Act of Canada), or those who reported being a member of a First Nation or Indian band.

This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design. The APS sample was selected from Census of Population respondents who reported an Aboriginal identity or ancestry.

Data collection:

Two computer assisted interview questionnaires were developed for this survey: a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) and a Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI). CATI and CAPI allows for more complex questionnaire flows as well as on-line edits which identify any logical inconsistencies so that interviewers can correct these with the assistance of respondents at the time of the interview.

Data collection took place from January 16, 2017 to August 15, 2017. The APS response rate was 76%, yielding a sample of approximately 24,000 Aboriginal respondents. Respondents were interviewed in the official language of their choice. For Inuit regions, the questionnaire was translated into Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun. These versions were available as HTML files in the CAPI and CATI applications to assist interviewers with potential language barriers in the field.

Data analysis:

Missing values including “don’t know,” “not stated” and “refusal” were excluded from the denominator when calculating percentages. Two estimates were considered to be significantly different from one another if their 95% confidence intervals did not overlap or p-values for the differences between estimates were greater than 0.05 in chi-square tests. A bootstrapping technique was applied when calculating estimates of variance.

Estimates with coefficients of variation greater than 16.6% but less than or equal to 33.3% should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are presented with an “E” throughout the report. All estimates from this report are based on survey weights that account for the sample design, non-response and known population totals.

On reserve population

The target population of the 2017 APS focused solely on the off reserve population, excluding those living on Indian reserve and settlements and in certain First Nations communities in Yukon and Northwest Territories. Statistics Canada’s most comprehensive source of information for the on reserve population is the Census of Population.

First Nations Information Governance Centre

Additional data sources related to First Nations people living on reserve and in northern communities across Canada include the First Nations Regional Health Survey (FNRHS) and the First Nations Regional Early Childhood, Education, and Employment Survey (FNREEES) which are administered by the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) and its Regional Partners. FNIGC is an incorporated non-profit organization with a special mandate from the Assembly of First Nations’ Chiefs in Assembly (Resolution no.48, December 2009). See: https://fnigc.ca

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