Employment for specific groups in Niagara:  In Niagara, as in the rest of Canada, employment opportunities and earnings are different and more challenging for women, immigrants, Aboriginal peoples and people with physical or mental disabilities.

Immigrants:  The unemployment rate of Niagara’s most recent immigrants is 12%, close to double the general population in 2005. The rate was 13% in Ontario (TOP Report NTAB, January, 2007). In 2005, 29.8% of recent immigrant male university graduates worked in occupations requiring no more than high school education (twice the rate of 11.5% of Canadian counterparts). Immigrant women with a university education were employed in low-skilled jobs. Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 ; Catalogue no. 97-563-x

Persons with disabilities: The unemployment rate for people with disabilities in general is at least 50% nationally and provincially. Source: Ontario Association of Food Banks, 2006.

Aboriginal population : In Niagara, the unemployment rate for the Aboriginal population was 10%, a full 4% higher than the general population (NTAB/ NWPB, 2007).  Three percent of Canadians identify as Aboriginal.  In 2006, the portion of Aboriginal people living in Niagara increased slightly from 5,115 in 2001 to 6,930 representing approximately 1.7 per cent of the total population. Aboriginal people have a higher proportion of the population living in poverty. Unemployment among Aboriginal people is:

Table 9.9

Canada Niagara
% LICO % Unemployment % LICO % Unemployment
Total Population Aboriginal Population Total Population Aboriginal Population Total Population Aboriginal Population Total Population Aboriginal Population
2001 16.2%% 34.2% 7.4% 19.1% 12.7% 25.2% 5.8% 9.8%
2006 15.3% 28.2% 6.6% 14.8% 12% 24.3% 6.1% 12.1%

Source: Federation of Canaiadian Municiplaities (FCM), 2010.

Youth and employment: 

Youth and low-skilled workers were hit hard in the recession and have yet to recover.  In the first quarter of 2011, the employment rate of youth stood at about 52%, still about 4 percentage points lower than during the first quarter of 2008. While starting from a lower level, the reduction in the youth employment rate, over the same period, was similar for the OECD area as a whole. Similarly, the employment rate of low-skilled people (without a high-school diploma) was about 44% in the first quarter of 2011, and about 5 percentage points lower than during the first quarter of 2008. This decline in employment rates is about twice as large as that observed for the OECD area. Youth without a high-school diploma are particularly vulnerable. OECD analysis for the 2011 Employment Outlook suggests that the young unemployed in Canada are less likely to receive support from unemployment and more at risk of having to rely on alternative sources of revenue, such as social assistance, than their counterparts in other OECD countries.

Source: OECD Employment Outlook, 2011.

Youth summer employment, 2011:  From May to August, the Labour Force Survey collects labour market data about young people 15-24 who were attending school full-time in March and intend to return in September. The published estimates are not seasonally adjusted, so comparisons can only be made on a year-over-year basis. In the summer of 2011, the average unemployment rate between May and August for students aged 15 to 24 was 17.2%, slightly above the rate of 16.9% recorded in the summer of 2010. In comparison, the rates in the summers of 2006 to 2008 were below 14%. Compared with the previous summer, the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged for 17 to 19 year-olds and for 20 to 24 year-olds, at 16.4% and 10.3%, respectively. However, the unemployment rate of 15 to 16 year-olds was 30.7%, up 2.6 percentage points from the summer of 2010.

Source: Labour Force Survey, 2011.

Youth Nexus: Out of concern for the 17-18% unemployment rate of our youth, the Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB) conducted a Youth Nexus study for Niagara n the summer and fall of 2011.  The study involved youth in providing information, perspectives and ideas about youth engagement and employment. The results and implications for action and planning will be forthcoming.

Older workers:  In Canada, in 2007, 8.9% of those over 65 years of age worked, up from 7.5% in 2003.

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM 282-0002. We need more information on the engagement of seniors in the workforce, and implications for Niagara, given our particular demographic trends towards an aging population.

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