Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2017
Labour Market Experiences of Inuit: Key findings from the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey

Release date: November 26, 2018

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The 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey marks the fifth cycle of this voluntary national survey of Inuit, Métis and First Nations people living off reserve, aged 15 years 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 organizations, communities, service providers, researchers, governments, and the general public.

The following are findings for people who self-identified as Inuit. Also available are Labour Market Experiences of First Nations Peoples Living off Reserve: Key results from the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (Catalogue no. 89-653-x2018003) and Labour Market Experiences of Métis: Key results from the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (Catalogue no. 89-653-x2018002).

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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 works 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 have 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 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 65,025 Inuit in Canada

According to the census, the Inuit population increased 29.1% from 2006 to 2016.

Close to three-quarters (72.8%) of Inuit lived in Inuit Nunangat, the homeland of Inuit in Canada: 46.3% in Nunavut, 18.1% in Nunavik, 4.8% in the Inuvialuit regionNote 1, and 3.5% in Nunatsiavut.

The average age of Inuit in 2016 was 27.7 years, significantly younger than the non-Aboriginal population average of 40.9 years.

Map 1

Description of Map 1

In 2016, there were 65,025 Inuit in Canada

According to the census, the Inuit population increased 29.1% from 2006 to 2016.

Close to three-quarters (72.8%) of Inuit lived in Inuit Nunangat, the homeland of Inuit in Canada: 46.3% in Nunavut, 18.1% in Nunavik, 4.8% in the Inuvialuit Region , and 3.5% in Nunatsiavut.

The average age of Inuit in 2016 was 27.7 years, significantly younger than the non-Aboriginal population average of 40.9 years.

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Inuit Nunangat Communities

In this report, ‘large Inuit communities’ are defined as communities with 1,000 or more people and a population density of 400 people per square kilometre. Of the 53 communities within Inuit Nunangat, the large Inuit communities are Iqaluit, Pangnirtung, Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, Rankin Inlet, Arviat and Baker Lake in Nunavut; Inukjuak, Kuujjuaq, Puvirnituq, and Salluit, in Nunavik; and Inuvik, in the Inuvialuit region. Communities with less than 1,000 people or a municipal density of less than 400 people per square kilometer are referred to as ‘small Inuit communities’.

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Definition

Three age groups are used in this booklet:

The ‘younger/young adult’ age group is defined as those aged 15-24.

The ‘core working age’ is defined as age 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’ age group is defined as individuals aged 55 or older.

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Employment

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Context from the 2016 census

About one half of Inuit aged 15 or older were employed in 2016

Almost one half (49% or 21,315 individuals) of Inuit aged 15 or over were employed in 2016.

Inuit of core working age had a higher employment rate (58%) than those in the younger (36%) or older (39%) age groups.

The share of core working age Inuit who were employed was higher outside Inuit Nunangat (64%) than within Inuit Nunangat (56%).

There were differences across the regions within Inuit Nunangat. The share of core working age Inuit who were employed ranged from 49% in Nunatsiavut and 53% in Nunavut, to 61% in the Inuvialuit region and 64% in Nunavik.

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Most employed Inuit had a permanent job in 2017

In 2017, 79% of employed Inuit worked a permanent job. Of the 21% that worked a non-permanent job; 4%E worked a seasonal job, 7% worked a temporary, term, or contract job, 9% worked a casual job, and the remainder worked a job that was not permanent in some other way.

About 7% of employed Inuit worked multiple jobs at the same time

Almost one in ten (9%) core working age Inuit had moved for job-related reasons in the past 5 years

Outside Inuit Nunangat, one in six (16%) Inuit aged 25-54 had moved for job-related reasons compared to 5% within Inuit Nunangat. The percentage of core working age Inuit who moved for job related reasons ranged from 4% of Inuit in Nunavik to 9% of Inuit in the Inuvialuit region.

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Did you know?

Four in ten (41%) Inuit were preparing for their retirement on their own or through an employer pension plan

Among Inuit with a University degree, 87% were preparing for their retirement on their own or through an employer pension plan

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Part-Time Employment

About one in five (21%) employed Inuit worked part-time (less than 30 hours per week at their main job)

Women were more likely to work part-time than men (25% versus 17%). Younger Inuit were more likely to work part-time (40%) than older Inuit (24%), who in turn were more likely than core working age Inuit (15%).

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 Reason for working part-time (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Reason for working part-time Percent
Involuntary part-time 46
Going to school 21
Other reasons 17
Own preference 9Note E: Use with caution
Caring for own children 6Note E: Use with caution
Own illness or disability 1Note E: Use with caution

For most core working age Inuit who worked part-time, part-time work was not a choice, but rather involuntary

The majority (56%) of core working age Inuit who worked part-time and half (50%) of older Inuit who worked part-time, did so involuntarily.

Half of Inuit youth who worked part-time, did so because they were attending school

Going to school was the leading reason reported by Inuit aged 15-24 for working part-time (51%).

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Definition

Involuntary part-timers 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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Self-employment

About 6% of all employed Inuit in 2017 were self-employed

More than one in three (36%) self-employed Inuit owned an incorporated business. One in four (26%) self-employed Inuit had hired employees

The leading reason Inuit chose self-employment was for the freedom or independence that came with self-employment (34%E)

Other prominent reasons reported for self-employment included being able to set flexible hours (11%E), and the nature of the work requiring self-employment (9%E).

Most (72%) self-employed Inuit did not receive outside assistance for their business

While 28%E of self-employed Inuit did receive outside assistance for their business, this share was larger among Inuit within Inuit Nunangat (42%E) than those outside of Inuit Nunangat (19%E).

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Definition

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

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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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Over three in four (78%) Inuit aged 15 or older participated in other labour activities during the past year.

A larger share of Inuit in Inuit Nunangat compared with those outside Inuit Nunangat had participated in these activities (84% versus 62%).

About one in six (16%) Inuit aged 15 or older did these activities for money or to supplement their income in 2017, which again was more common in Inuit Nunangat than outside Inuit Nunangat (20% versus 7%). Among the Inuit regions this was most common in Nunavik (27%), followed by Nunavut (19%) then the Inuvialuit region (14%) and Nunatsiavut (14%).

Those not in the labour force and unemployed were more likely to have participated in labour activities for income (20% and 18% respectively) than those who were employed (13%).


Table 1
Prevalence of harvesting and handicraft activities among Inuit aged 15 years or older in 2017 by Inuit Nunangat region
Table summary
This table displays the results of Prevalence of harvesting and handicraft activities among Inuit aged 15 years or older in 2017 by Inuit Nunangat region. The information is grouped by Inuit Nunangat region (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).
Inuit Nunangat region Hunted, fished or trapped Gathered wild plants Made clothes or footwear Made carvings, drawings,
jewellery or other kinds of
artwork
percent
Nunatsiavut 66 63 16 16
Nunavik 65 70 38 17
Inuvialuit region 57 44 25 13
Nunavut 65 37 35 17
Outside Inuit Nunangat 37 30 12 22

Hunting, fishing and trapping

  • Over half (56%) of Inuit said that they hunted, fished or trapped in the past year. This was more common within Inuit Nunangat (65%) than outside Inuit Nunangat (37%).
  • Inuit men were more likely to hunt, fish or trap than women (66% versus 47%).
  • About 6% of Inuit did this for income or to supplement income. This figure was 10% in Nunavik, 8% in Nunavut, 5% in the Inuvialuit region, 2% in Nunatsiavut.

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

  • Forty-two percent (42%) gathered wild plants in the past year. This was more common among Inuit in Inuit Nunangat, than outside Inuit Nunangat (47% versus 30%).
  • Gathering wild plants was more common among Inuit women than Inuit men (49% versus 33%)
  • Roughly 2% of Inuit gathered wild plants for income or to supplement income; this was most common in Nunavik (5%).

Making clothing or footwear

  • About one in four (27%) Inuit made clothing or footwear in the past year. This was more common among Inuit in Inuit Nunangat (34%) than outside Inuit Nunangat (12%).
  • Almost half of Inuit women (47%) made clothing or footwear compared to 4% of men.
  • About 6% did so for income or to supplement income. This was more common within Inuit Nunangat, than outside Inuit Nunangat (8% versus 2%E).

Making carvings, drawings, jewellery or other kinds of artwork

  • About one in five (18%) Inuit made carvings, drawings, jewellery or other kinds of artwork in the past year.
  • Participation in this activity was more common outside Inuit Nunangat (22%) than within Inuit Nunangat (17%).
  • About (6%) did so for income or to supplement income. This was more common within Inuit Nunangat, than outside Inuit Nunangat (7% versus 4%E).
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Did you know?

Most Inuit (72%) helped out in their community at least once per month during the past 12 months

One in four (25%) Inuit over the age of 15 volunteered for a group or organization at least once per month. In addition, over two in three (68%) 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

In 2016, the unemployment rate among Inuit was 22% (6,150 individuals)

The unemployment rate was higher among Inuit men than women (26% versus 18%). Unemployment rates were higher among younger Inuit (29%) than Inuit of core working age (22%) or older Inuit (15%).

Unemployment rates were higher within Inuit Nunangat than outside Inuit Nunangat (25% versus 16%). Within Inuit Nunangat unemployment rates were 32% in Nunatsiavut, 28% in Nunavut, 21% in Inuvialuit region, and 18% in Nunavik.

Unemployment rates varied with level of education, and were lower among Inuit with a university degree (7%) than among those with a high school diploma (18%) or those with less than a high school diploma (31%).

Inuit have made gains in high school and postsecondary completion. In 2016, 29% of Inuit aged 15 and over had completed a postsecondary certificate diploma or degree, up from 26% in 2006. The percentage with less than a high school diploma dropped from 61% in 2006 to 52% in 2016.

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Barriers to employment

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 Barriers to employment (appearing as row headers), Men (reference category) and Women, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Barriers to employment Men (reference category) Women
percent
A shortage of jobs 88 78Note *
Not having the education or training 54 50
Not having the work experience required 48 44
Not knowing where to look for work 32 30
Not knowing the type of job one wanted 26 26
Not having the means of transportation 27 24
Other 14Note E: Use with caution 28Note E: Use with caution Note *

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

Within Inuit Nunangat, a smaller share of unemployed Inuit in Nunavut reported a shortage of jobs (83%) than in Nunatsiavut (96%) and the Inuvialuit Region (93%).

Younger Inuit were more likely to report not knowing what jobs to look for and not knowing where to look for work as barriers to finding work

Younger Inuit were more likely than core working age Inuit to report not knowing where to look for work (39% versus 26%) and not knowing what job to look for (38% versus 19%E).

Inuit in Nunavut were more likely to report not having enough education or training for available jobs

Most unemployed Inuit in both Nunavut (60%) and the Inuvialuit Region (56%) reported not having enough education or training for available jobs, compared to 35% in Nunatsiavut, and 40% in Nunavik.

Inuit living outside Inuit Nunangat were more likely to report not having the work experience required for available work than all regions within Inuit Nunangat, except Nunavut

About six in ten (61%) Inuit outside Inuit Nunangat reported not having the required work experience for available jobs compared to 28%E in Nunavik, 30% in Nunatsiavut, and 41% in the Inuvialuit Region.

What would help?

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 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 40
Skills training (e.g., computer, language, writing, skilled trades, etc.) 18
Other 17
More education 13
Child care assistance 6Note E: Use with caution
Work experience 3Note E: Use with caution
Résumé writing skills 3Note E: Use with caution

When asked what would help most to find a job, four in ten unemployed Inuit reported ‘more jobs’

A quarter (25%E) of Inuit outside of Inuit Nunangat and 45% in Inuit Nunangat said more jobs would help them most in finding work. The percentage of Inuit who reported this was lower in Nunavut (39%), than in Nunatsiavut (78%) and the Inuvialuit region (55%).

Further, just over half (53%) of Inuit living in small Inuit communities said ‘more jobs’ would help them most, compared to a third (33%) of Inuit living in large Inuit communities.

Inuit men were more likely than Inuit women to report that skills training would help them most

Close to a quarter (23%) of Inuit men said skills training would help them most to find work compared to 13%E of Inuit women.

One in ten Inuit women reported child care assistance would help them most

While 6%E of Inuit overall said child care assistance would help them most to find work, 11%E of Inuit women said child care assistance would help them most.

Method of looking for work

Almost half of unemployed Inuit used two or more methods to look for work

About 44% of unemployed Inuit used two or more methods to look for work, although this ranged regionally from 32% of those in Nunavut to 65% of unemployed in Nunatsiavut.

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 Method of looking for work (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Method of looking for work Percent
Contacted potential employer(s) directly 63
Searched the Internet 30
Through friend(s)/relative(s) 26
Community bulletin boards/radio 20
Contacted public employment agency 12Note E: Use with caution
Other 12Note E: Use with caution
Placed or answered newspaper ad(s) 7Note E: Use with caution
Aboriginal organization 7Note E: Use with caution

Within Inuit Nunangat, unemployed Inuit were more likely to look for work through community radio and bulletin boards than searching the internet

Use of community bulletin boards or radio was more common in Nunatsiavut (52%) and Nunavik (33%), and less common in Nunavut (20%E) and the Inuvialuit region (23%E).

Use of the Internet to look for work was more than twice as common outside Inuit Nunangat as any region within Inuit Nunangat

Inuit living outside of Inuit Nunangat (68%) were more than twice as likely to use the internet to look for work as their counterparts in the Inuvialuit region (30%), Nunatsiavut (17%E), and Nunavut (19%E).

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Did you know?

Three in four (75%) Inuit have at least some access to the internet at home, although this differed by region

A smaller percentage of Inuit in Inuit Nunangat (68%) than outside Inuit Nunangat (91%) had internet access at home.

About three in four (73%) Inuit used a smart phone, tablet, or other wireless device to access the internet in the past month

A larger percentage of Inuit women reported using a mobile device to access the internet in the past month than Inuit men (76% versus 70%). Further, Inuit outside Inuit Nunangat were more likely to report accessing the internet through a mobile device than inside Inuit Nunangat (80% versus 70%).


Table 2
Access to internet at home and use of internet on wireless devices among Inuit in 2017 by Inuit Nunangat region
Table summary
This table displays the results of Access to internet at home and use of internet on wireless devices among Inuit in 2017 by Inuit Nunangat region. The information is grouped by Inuit Nunangat region (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).
Inuit Nunangat region Had access to the internet at home Accessed internet on wireless device in the past month
percent
Nunatsiavut 65 54
Nunavik 65 69
Inuvialuit region 74 75
Nunavut 69 72
Outside Inuit Nunangat 91 83
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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 searcher (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 Inuit aged 15 or older in 2017, over a third (37% or 16,065 individuals) were not in the labour force in 2016

Non-participation in the labour force was most common among older adults (54%) followed by young Inuit (49%) and then core working age adults (26%). Regionally, non-participation in the labour force was similar in Inuit Nunangat and outside Inuit Nunangat (37% versus 38%). Within Inuit Nunangat proportions ranged from 45% in Nunatsiavut, 38% in Nunavut, 37% in the Inuvialuit region and 32% in Nunavik.

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Main reason

Of Inuit that were not in the labour force in 2017, 23% wanted to work in the previous week

About 25% young Inuit, 32% of core working age Inuit, and 7% of older Inuit wanted to work in the previous week.

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 Reason for not looking for work (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Reason for not looking for work Percent
Other reasons 28
Believed no work available 24
Caring for own children 13Note E: Use with caution
Own illness or disability 13Note E: Use with caution
Other personal or family responsibilities 8Note E: Use with caution
Going to school 7Note E: Use with caution
No reason given 6Note E: Use with caution

Believing no work was available (discouraged searchers) was the most common reason for not looking for work

Discouraged searchers accounted for a larger share of Inuit men who wanted to work but were not in the labour force than Inuit women (32% versus 15%E).

Caring for children a key reason Inuit women were not in the labour force

Among Inuit women who said they would like to work but did not look for work, 22%E did so because they needed to care for their children.  A larger share of core working age women (29%E) reported this than young Inuit women (17%E).

One in five young Inuit were not in the labour force because they were in school

A large share of young Inuit were not in the labour force because they were in school (20%E).

This was less common for those in Inuit Nunangat than outside (11%E versus 43%E).

Within Inuit Nunangat, Inuit were more likely to be discouraged searchers if they lived in smaller communities

Inuit in small communities were more than twice as likely as those in large communities to be discouraged searchers (35% versus 16%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 Inuit.

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What would help?

Over four in ten (44%) Inuit who were not in the labour force expected to look for work within the next 12 months

Almost two thirds (61%) of young Inuit, 53% of core working age Inuit, and 12% of older Inuit said they would look for work in the next 12 months.

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 What would help find work (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
What would help find work Percent
More
jobs
44
Skills
training
35
More
education
(academic)
26
Work
experience
18
Résumé
writing
skills
11
Child
care
assistance
11
Transportation 7Note E: Use with caution
Other 6Note E: Use with caution
Contacts/
networking
6Note E: Use with caution
Better
health
6Note E: Use with caution
Moving
to another
city/region
6Note E: Use with caution
Job
finding
clubs
5Note E: Use with caution
Help in
starting
a business
4Note E: Use with caution

More job opportunities was most commonly reported as helpful to finding work within Inuit Nunangat

About half (51%) of Inuit in Inuit Nunangat stated that more jobs would help them gain employment compared to under a quarter (22%E) of those outside Inuit Nunangat. Within Inuit Nunangat, those in Nunavik were less likely to say more jobs would help most (40%) compared to Nunatsiavut (69%) or the Inuvialuit region (61%).

Skills training was more likely to be perceived as helpful by Inuit within Inuit Nunangat

Around four in ten (39%) Inuit in Inuit Nunangat said skills training would help them find work compared to 22%E of those outside Inuit Nunangat.

Inuit women reported that child care assistance would help them find work

About one in five (19%) Inuit women said child care assistance would help them find work.

Inuit in the Inuvialuit region were more likely to say work experience would help than those in any other region

Inuit in Inuvialuit region were most likely to say work experience would help (35%) compared to all other regions within Inuit Nunangat or outside Inuit Nunangat (ranging from 14%E to 19%).

Skills and training

Men were more likely to state that their reading and writing skills limited their job prospects

Inuit men were more likely than women to say that their writing skills limited their job opportunities (37% versus 27%). The same can be said for reading skills, with men more likely to report this than women (34% versus 27%). 

Writing was more likely to be perceived as limiting in Nunavik than elsewhere within Inuit Nunangat

Inuit in Nunavik were more likely to say that their writing skills limited their job prospects (42%) than those in any other regions in Inuit Nunangat (33%-34%). Inuit outside Inuit Nunangat were least likely to find that their writing skills were limiting their job prospects (23%). Percentages were similar for reading skills.

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 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 12 29
Unemployed 21 37
Not in Labour
Force
20 34
Writing skills Employed 6 18
Unemployed 14 33
Not in Labour
Force
13 29
Numeracy skills Employed 7 20
Unemployed 13 31
Not in Labour
Force
14 32

About one in three (29%) Inuit took courses, workshops, seminars, or training to develop their job skills in the past 12 months

For those Inuit who took a course or participated in training, most (78%) took job specific training (e.g., professional training, equipment, occupational health and safety).

Among those that did not take any training, 27% wanted to take courses, workshops, seminars, or training to develop their job skills

Most Inuit who wanted to take training, wanted job-specific-training (57%). The most common reasons that prevented them from taking training were that training was not available (40%), personal or family responsibilities (39%), and being too busy to take training (36%).

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

  • From the census, we get a picture of the characteristics of the employed and unemployed – age, sex, industry, occupation and more.
  • From the census, we can get information about how many people have postsecondary qualifications, and their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
  • From the census, we have information about the number of people who are able to conduct a conversation in an Aboriginal language, how many have an Aboriginal mother tongue, and how many are using Aboriginal languages at home and at work.

Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS)

  • From the APS, we can also learn:
    • Levels of job satisfaction
    • Access to training and skills development
    • Reasons for working part-time
    • Over-qualification/Under-qualification
    • Reasons for being self-employed
    • Assistance/support for business owners
    • How looking for work
    • Willingness to move for work
    • Barriers to finding work and what would help most
  • From the APS, we can gain deeper insights:
    • Reasons for choosing postsecondary program
    • Quality of guidance to select postsecondary programs
    • Distance education
    • Funding for postsecondary schooling
    • Barriers to attending postsecondary schooling
  • From the APS, we can learn more about Aboriginal languages:
    • Levels of ability
    • Ratings of how important it is to speak and understand
    • Exposure to Aboriginal languages both inside and outside the home
    • How and where Aboriginal languages are learned

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 long-form 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. 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.

The Aboriginal peoples Survey - Nunavut Inuit Supplement

The 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey–Nunavut Inuit Supplement (APS–NIS) was designed to learn more about the availability, interest and level of preparedness for government employment of Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement (also known as Nunavut Inuit).   Its target population was Nunavut Inuit aged 15 years or older living in private dwellings and comprised a large supplementary sample as well as an additional set of questions. The APS-NIS was released as a separate analytical file from the APS due to its different target population, objectives, sampling design and weighting strategies.

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