ABSTRACT

Labour mobility exhibits some peculiarities in remote regions. Workforce migration may be temporary (seasonal or cyclical, based on economics) and may be continuous with people moving, moving again, perhaps returning or moving on once more. There is quite a bit of nomadic behaviour among workers at the periphery (as we demonstrate in this chapter with examples of labour that moves in (taxi drivers in Alaska) and labour that moves out (Inuit youth and women)). There is evidence to support the proposition that it is individual personality and behavioural characteristics that cause people to ‘self select’ this employment lifestyle (Ensign 2008a, and the case example in this chapter about the North West Territories Above Ground Pool Program). There is also plenty of reason to affirm the proposition that the organisation of industry or economic activity necessitates a nomadic (or at least highly mobile) workforce with particular demographic characteristics (for example, resource extraction: mining, fishing, and so on) (Storey 2009), and the case example in this chapter about women in the Canadian forestry sector).