Seventeen jobs are being cut from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada offices in Iqaluit following federal budget cuts.

"There's a total of about 85-90 people working at that office," said Geoff Ryan with the Union of National Employees. "That is a very large per cent. That's 20 per cent of those people gone."

Ryan said the work will be divided between remaining employees and offices in southern Canada.

"It's my understanding that the work is transferred but there are no additional jobs created, so the people that are left behind are going to have more work to do," he said.

"Potentially you're looking at more overtime for people to complete these tasks. So, you know, in some cases there may not even be a savings to the government."

He said Human Resources services for Iqaluit will now be provided out of Quebec City, and finance services for Iqaluit will be handled in Winnipeg.

Ryan called the cuts unnecessary and said they will hurt the local economy.

In Nunavut, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada administers all Crown land and is heavily involved in reviewing development projects.