NEWS RELEASE: Resource Sector Provides Highest Paying Jobs for Indigenous Workers in Canada (Indigenous Resource Network – February 27, 2023)

CALGARY, AB, Feb. 27, 2023 /CNW/ – Data from Census 2021 show that the extractive resource sectors, and the oil and gas sector specifically, provide the highest paying average wages for Indigenous workers in Canada.

Indigenous people in Canada make almost three times more working in the oil and gas extraction sector than the average Indigenous worker ($140,400 vs $51,120 average employment income) and almost twice as much working in mining ($93,600). Forestry also paid higher than average ($56,100).

Indigenous women in particular benefit economically from working in the sector. The top 3 highest paying sectors for Indigenous women are oil and gas related. Indigenous women earn $115,4000 in oil and gas extraction, versus only $43,600 on average in all industries. Pipeline transportation jobs pay even more, with Indigenous women earning $151,000 on average for crude oil and $113,000 for natural gas pipeline employment.

Indigenous people are well represented in the resource sector. While they represent 3.9% of the Canadian workforce overall, they are 6.9% of the oil and gas workforce, 10.8% of the mining workforce, and 9.2% of forestry. By contrast, only 5.0% of the federal government workforce is Indigenous.

The oil and gas sector has also eliminated the wage gap. According to the Labour Force Survey, Indigenous workers in oil and gas extraction made 2.2% more in average weekly wages than the average Canadian oil and gas worker in 2021. Across all industries in Canada, Indigenous workers made 7.6% less than the average worker.

“Many Indigenous workers have become involved in the oil & gas, mining and forestry sectors to benefit from the good, high paying careers they can provide,” said Indigenous Resource network Board Chair John Desjarlais. “These numbers show that the resource sector is valuing the skills and experience that Indigenous workers bring to the table. We look forward to working with industry to continue closing the gap and creating even more opportunities for those Indigenous workers that want it.”

The statistics are based on custom datasets from the Labour Force Survey (2019-2021) (Catalogue no. 71C0003) and Census 2021 (Catalogue no. P0001178).

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