The NWT unemployment rate for 2004 was 10.4%: ranging from 5% in Yellowknife to 8.6% in Hay River and Fort Smith, and 22.4% in the smaller communities.
|‘No Jobs Available’||‘Want a Job’|
|Grade 0 to 8||Inuit 44.6% Non-Inuit 42.9%||Inuit 44.6% Non-Inuit 42.9%|
|Grade 9 to 11||Inuit 41.5% Non-Inuit 9.7%||Inuit 44.6% Non-Inuit 42.9%|
|High School||Inuit 21.2% Non-Inuit 2.7%||Inuit 44.6% Non-Inuit 42.9%|
|Diploma||Inuit 21.4% Non-Inuit 1.7%||Inuit 44.6% Non-Inuit 42.9%|
|University||Inuit 1.9% Non-Inuit 2%||Inuit 44.6% Non-Inuit 42.9%|
Nunavut’s average employment rate in 1999 was 52.8%: 43.3% for Inuit and 88.8% for non-Inuit. Employment rates were slightly higher for males than for females. The rate ranged from 43.4% in medium communities to 48.4% in smaller communities to 65.4% in the three regional centres.
The NWT employment rate in 2005 was 72.3%; it has been over 70% for four years. Employment rates were slightly higher for males than for females. An 82% rate in Yellowknife contrasts with a 62.8% rate in smaller communities; 83.4% rate for non-Aboriginal people contrasts with 55.1% for Aboriginal people. 2004 employment rates were 38.8% for people with less than high school and 81.7% for people with high school or greater. In 2007, in the NWT, 2,454 people were unemployed20. Of these, 77.3% were Aboriginal, almost all from small communities, and 52.3% had less than a high school diploma.
Northern workers with limited literacy skills take entry level jobs, but may lack the skills to safely and effectively do their work. For example, information from BHP shows that 30 to 35% of Aboriginal workers in entry level jobs struggle to read simple documents.
Without effective literacy training this kind of job may become the end point for many Nunavut and NWT workers rather than the starting point, or they may quit from frustration. Without effective literacy training workers cannot move to higher level positions, and they limit opportunities for new labour market entrants.
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