Nunavut realized a 17.3 per cent drop in its employment rate from March to May when compared with that same period one year earlier, fresh data from Statistics Canada reveals.

There were approximately 2,200 fewer Nunavummiut employed from March to May compared to a year earlier, according to Statistics Canada. The territory’s hospitality industry has been among the sectors that have been hit hard, having to close for months due to Covid-19.
NNSL file photo

The territory’s employment rate stood at just 45 per cent during the recent stretch when the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy. A year earlier, the territorial employment rate was recorded at 54.4 per cent.

Broken down, the employment rate among Inuit measured 35.1 per cent, plunging 10.1 per cent. Among non-Inuit, the employment rate registered at 84.4 per cent, a decrease of 6.7 per cent.

By comparison, the national employment rate dipped to 54.1 per cent, a 7.7 per cent fall.

In a report prepared by the Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, the number of working people in the territory was estimated at 11,900 during the past three months, down 2,200 from 14,100 people among the ranks of the employed during the equivalent time frame in 2019.

Statistically considered less reliable, Nunavut’s unemployment rate jumped to 16.6 per cent from 12.4 per cent year over year between March and May.

Although data was not provided for each Nunavut community, the statistics bureau’s report showed that Iqaluit fared far better than the territory overall, with the employment rate in the capital dropping only 2.5 per cent year over year to 75 per cent.

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Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...