Over-qualification in the Workforce: Do Indigenous Women and Men Benefit Equally from High Levels of Education?


  • Jungwee Park Health Analysis Division, Statistics Canada




Using data from the 2016 Census, this study examined the level of education–job mismatch (over-qualification, in particular) in the Canadian labour market among Indigenous women workers aged 25 to 64 who received post-secondary education. Their rate of over-qualification was compared with that of Indigenous men as well as non-Indigenous workers. In doing so, this study aimed to shed some light on the effect of post-secondary education on labour market outcomes by investigating whether Indigenous men and women benefit equally from their post-secondary education. Compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts and Indigenous men, Indigenous women workers with university-level education (bachelor’s degree or higher) were less likely to be over-qualified. Conversely, Indigenous women workers with post-secondary education lower than university level were more likely than non-Indigenous women and Indigenous men to be over-qualified. This pattern persisted after sociodemographic factors were controlled for. The results suggest that, among those with a post-secondary education, higher levels of education were especially advantageous to Indigenous women.