Its economy is largely service based with government as the largest employer. Small businesses that serve the community, tourism, and art work though are also found.
The local co-operative, Tununiq Sauniq Co-op, a member of Arctic Co-operatives Limited, is one of the largest co-ops in Nunavut. It serves the community by managing contracts and delivering goods and services to the citizens of Pond Inlet. Some of the services T.S. Co-op provides are; school bus services, First Air services, Qilaut Heavy Equipment Rentals and services, Sauniq Hotel (largest in community), Construction contracts, T.V. Cable Services, a grocery and department store, Yamaha Snowmobile and ATV repair shop, and others.
The economy is expected to boom once the Mary River Iron Ore Mine is in full operation. The mine site is approximately 160 km (99 mi) west south-west of the community and still in its developmental stage.
As a tourist destination, Pond Inlet is considered one of Canada's "Jewels of the North". It is one of the most picturesque communities with mountain ranges viewable from all directions. Icebergs are most often accessible from the community within walking distance or a short snowmobile ride in winter. Pond Inlet boasts a nearby floe edge, several dozen glaciers, explorable ice caves, and many grand and picturesque inlets. Barren-ground caribou, ringed seal, narwhals and polar bears are just some of the wildlife that can be encountered while traveling out on the land. Nunavut also boasts one of Canada's newest national parks named after the glaciers that can be viewed north of the community on Bylot Island; Sirmilik National Park.
Pond Inlet is most readily accessible by airplane through a connection in Iqaluit, Nunavut's capital to Pond Inlet Airport. The ocean is ice free for as long as three and a half months when tourist cruise ships visit and goods can be transported to the community by sealift cargo carrying ships. Fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables and milk are flown from Montreal to Pond Inlet several times a week, a distance of about 2,500 km (1,600 mi).
Because of such great distances the cost of food and other materials such as construction supplies can be much higher than that of southern Canada. Milk is approximately $3.75/L, and carbonated drinks can be as much as $4.50/can.
Although the community is not more than 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long, snowmobiles and ATV four-wheelers are the main modes of transportation. With the decentralization of the Nunavut government and increased economic opportunities in the community, the number of vehicles has been increasing tenfold.
Pond Inlet has two schools: Ulaajuk (elementary school) and Nasivvik (junior and high school). There is also Nunavut Arctic College which provides courses and programs for adults. It is also the headquarters of the Qikiqtani School Operations which operates schools throughout the Qikiqtaaluk Region.
The community has been served by the Qiniq network since 2005. Qiniq is a fixed wireless service to homes and businesses, connecting to the outside world via a satellite backbone. The Qiniq network is designed and operated by SSI Micro. In 2017, the network was upgraded to 4G LTE technology, and 2G-GSM for mobile voice.
Pond Inlet has a polar arctic climate with long cold winters and short cool summers. Pond Inlet's average high for the year is −11.1 °C (12.0 °F) while the average low for the year is −18.0 °C (−0.4 °F). The daily mean for the coldest month, February, is −34.7 °C (−30.5 °F). The daily mean for the warmest month, July, is 6.6 °C (43.9 °F). The record high for Pond Inlet is 22.0 °C (71.6 °F) on 11 July 1991. The record low for Pond Inlet is −53.9 °C (−65.0 °F) on 12 February 1979.