You are here

Literacy, numeracy, technology skill and labour market outcomes among Indigenous Peoples in Canada

TitleLiteracy, numeracy, technology skill and labour market outcomes among Indigenous Peoples in Canada
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHu, M., Daley A., and Warman C.
JournalSSRN Working Paper
Keywordsaboriginal, cognitive skills, economic discrimination, immigrants, indigenous, information-processing skills, labour market, literacy, numeracy, programme for the international assessment of adult competencies, technology skill

We use the 2012 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies to examine proficiency in information-processing skills, educational attainment and labour market outcomes among Indigenous peoples in Canada. Similar to previous literature, we find negative earnings differentials, lower employment rates and higher unemployment for Indigenous populations and important differences between First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. First Nations people do much worse in terms of earnings and employment outcomes, while we find evidence that Métis people have worse employment outcomes and negative earnings differentials in the upper part of the distribution. We also find sizable literacy, numeracy and technology skill gaps. Not surprisingly, there is a positive relationship between these information-processing skills and wages. However, the returns to skills are very similar for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, that is, we find no evidence of economic discrimination. Once these skills are conditioned on, the earnings differentials greatly decline. We also find that education can reduce skill and wage gaps, although the additional impact is small. The results suggest a greater need to consider barriers to education faced by Indigenous peoples.

Document URL