As of 2016, the age-adjusted employment rate for First Nations (44.3 per cent) and African Nova Scotians (50.0 per cent) lagged the provincial figure of 55.2 per cent. The gap has increased since 2011 to 10.9 percentage points for First Nations and 5.2 percentage points for African Nova Scotian communities (2016).
For the Aboriginal, First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities, these numbers represent an age adjusted figure (ages 15+), based on our own calculations. For more information on why this is necessary and how it was done, see the ‘Deep Dive’ section.
Data from the 2016 Census suggests little progress in closing the gap between provincial and Aboriginal or African Nova Scotian employment rates. While the gap for Aboriginal Identity has thinned slightly, this is largely driven by an overall decrease in the provincial employment rate, rather than the improvement of conditions for Aboriginal Nova Scotians. Meanwhile, the gap for First Nations and African Nova Scotians remains largely unchanged, as employment rates for all groups have declined marginally since 2011.
What This Means
First Nations and African Nova Scotians as general population groups have traditionally been economically disadvantaged in Canada, and have faced systemic difficulties connecting to labour markets. Some of the barriers to successful labour market attachment are believed to include systemic racism and discriminatory hiring practices that are biased against racially visible individuals.
This is reflected in the deep dive figures, which compare overall provincial employment and participation rates with these racially visible groups. The employment rate measures the success of members of these groups in finding employment. The participation rate measures the proportion of these groups actively seeking employment opportunities.