7.2.1 Percentage of youth aged 15 to 24 years who are employed and unemployed, by Indigenous identity, Canada, 2016

First Nations Métis Inuit Non-Indigenous
Employment rate 32.1 52.3 36.3 52.8
Unemployment rate 27.3 17.3 29.3 15.1

Note: The estimates associated with this variable are more affected than most by the incomplete enumeration of certain Indian reserves and Indian settlements in the Census of Population.

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Statistics Canada – 2016 Census. Catalogue Number 98-400-X2016175.

In 2016, 32% of First Nations youth aged 15 to 24 years were employed.

That compared to 52% of Métis youth, 36% of Inuit youth and 53% of non-Indigenous youth.

In 2016, 27% of First Nations youth aged 15 to 24 years were unemployed.

That compared to 17% of Métis youth, 29% of Inuit youth and 15% of non-Indigenous youth.

There are many factors that affect the employment, (and unemployment) of Indigenous youth.  These include their geographic location; lower educational attainment; and language and cultural issues.  Employment is essential to the well-being of Indigenous youth for a number of reasons.  It provides economic security.  It contributes to self-esteem and a feeling of belonging and participating in the community. Indigenous youth employment also contributes to the well-being of Canadian society. Canada is facing challenges in finding enough workers with the right skills and experience to meet the needs of the labour force. Since the Indigenous population is the fastest growing segment of Canada’s population, it can help meet its future labour market needs.

Source: Howard. A., Edge, J., & Watt, D. (2012). Understanding the value, challenges, and opportunities of engaging Métis, Inuit, and First Nations workers. Ottawa, ON: Conference Board of Canada.