No source for workless stat


Your Jan. 31 article ‘Ottawa must spend on training to comply with land claim, NTI says’ contained the statement “A whopping 38 per cent of working-age people in Nunavut are either looking for work and can’t find a job, or have given up looking for work altogether.” No source was provided for this statistic.

In the spring of 2001 Nunavummit Kiglisiniartiit (Nunavut Bureau of Statistics) conducted the 2001 Nunavut Household Survey (NuHS.) With a sample size of 5,816 adults (ages 15 and over), the results at a Nunavut-wide level are accurate to within one percentage point, 19 times out of 20.

The 2001 NuHS found that Nunavummiut as a whole have a ‘real unemployment rate’ of 23.6 per cent. This figure includes ‘discouraged workers’ — people who say that they have not been actively looking for work because they perceive no work to be available in their community or suited to their skill set.

Unemployment rates for men and women were very similar, but there is a significant difference in employment and unemployment rates by community, ethnicity and highest level of formal schooling. Total unemployment was just under 10per cent in Iqaluit, but over 28 per cent in the other communities. The unemployment rate was 30.7 per cent for Inuit and 2.7 per cent for non-Inuit. (This is not surprising, as many non-Inuit come to Nunavut specifically to work. If non-Inuit lose or quit their job they tend to leave the territory if they don’t find another job quickly.) Unemployment was above 35 per cent for Inuit with less than a completed high school education, and 14 per cent for Inuit who have completed high school.

I am not aware of any data on the number of Nunavummiut who have “given up looking for work altogether.”

Jack Hicks
Director, Evaluation and Statistics
Government of Nunavut

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