Seniors Work and Income
Many seniors are still active in the labour force and are staying in the labour force after 60 years of age.8 Employment and unemployment rates and cost of living may be reasons for continuing to work. Still only 34% of seniors (60 years and over) participate in the labour force compared to 76% of the working age (15-64 years) population. If seniors are not in the labour force, they may be participating in older worker programs, advising councils and community programs and/or engaged in traditional knowledge work for environmental agencies or industry. Seniors are often resource persons for First Nation sponsored language and culture programs such as in day care, schools and summer camps and story collection. Some seniors are caregivers for young children.

Once out of the labour market seniors are unlikely to want to return to wage employment. Almost 88% of seniors 60 years and over that were not working, did not want to work. Federal and territorial governments are co-operating in programs to extend older workers’ labour market participation. This is evidenced in training and employer subsidies that can be arranged between Aurora College and employers.

Table 5: NWT Labour Force Activity by Selected Characteristics, 2002
  Pop. 15 & over Labour Force Employed Unem-ployed Partici-pation Rate Unemploy-ment Rate Employment Rate
NWT 2002 30,459 23,212 21,052 2,160 76.2 9.3 69.1
60 Years & over 2,590 888 758 130 34.3 14.6 29.3
NWT 1999 29,506 23,090 19,920 3,170 78.3 13.7 67.5
60 years & over 2,439 765 674 91 31.4 11.9 27.6

Source: NWT Bureau of Statistics, 1999 and 2002 Labour Force Survey

8 NWT Bureau of Statistics. Fall 2002 and Winter 1999. Labour Force Activity by Selected Characteristics. NWT