Constructing profiles of low-skilled workers in New Brunswick | UNB

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Constructing profiles of low-skilled workers in New Brunswick

Author: Erfan Mahmood Bhuiyan, Philip Leonard, Ted McDonald
Year: 2021
Category: Economy and Labour

Introduction 

The objective of this report is to construct profiles of low-skilled workers in New Brunswick (NB) using different definitions of low skill and to evaluate how these profiles have evolved over time. Profiles include age group, sex, ethnicity, immigration status, employment status, industry, region of residence, and income.

Data and Definitions 

The results of this report are based on the master data files of the 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2016 cycles of the Canadian Census and the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) available in the Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (RDC) in Fredericton, NB. 

Overview and Key Findings 

This report constructs statistical descriptions, or profiles, of low-skilled workers in New Brunswick using three different definitions for low skill: 

  • Lack of high school certificate or its equivalent
  • National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level D
  • Annual earnings, based on employment income, in the lowest income quintile

Using these definitions for low skill, this report finds the following:  

  • 13% of working-age New Brunswickers have less than a high school certificate or equivalent 
  • This group earns an annual median income of $21,550 
  • 11% of working-age New Brunswickers are employed in NOC Skill Level D occupations 
  • This group earns an annual median income of $18,505 
  • 16% of working-age New Brunswickers earn less than the lowest income quintile cut-off.  
  • This group earns an annual median income of $6,820 

Conclusion 

Understanding who the low-skilled workers in NB are and how the profiles of these individuals have evolved over time will help the government design more targeted programs. Once the most vulnerable groups are identified, it becomes easier to see whether they are taking advantage of existing public programs. According to this report, the groups considered most vulnerable to being low-skilled include women, part-time workers, and New Brunswickers aged 20-24. This information has the potential to help the government examine the impact of existing programs aimed at these individuals and evaluate how such programs can be improved to better serve these likely vulnerable groups.