Mining will drive double-digit economic growth in Nunavut this year: report – by John Thompson (Nunatsiaq News – July 11, 2019)

Nunavut’s mining boom will help the territory see enviable economic growth for the foreseeable future, according to a new forecast by the Conference Board of Canada.

But the report’s authors don’t expect this growth to make a big dent in the territory’s unemployment rate, which currently stands at nearly 2.5 times the national average.

“Most of the new jobs created in Nunavut’s mining industry will, unfortunately, go to non-residents as companies are forced to bring in workers from other parts of Canada due to a lack of specific mining skills within the resident population and to the remoteness of the mine sites,” the report states.

“Around one-third of the jobs created in Nunavut are typically filled by people who live in other parts of Canada and, consequently, are not counted in the territory’s job numbers. By 2025, the unemployment rate will drop to 12.7 per cent, down from current levels of close to 14 per cent, but will still be much higher than in the rest of the country.”

The report offers a bleak assessment of the territory’s ability to train its young residents to work in mining.

“Many of the young people in Nunavut today don’t have the skills needed to work in the mining industry, and they end up unemployed. Over the forecast, mining and construction companies will continue to bring in workers from other parts of Canada to meet their labour requirements.”

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