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Unemployment rises for Canada’s youth


Is it time for some to go back to school?

Written by Khristopher Reardon, Staff Writer

Today’s youth participation rate in the labour force has tumbled to levels not seen since 1995 with a current rate of 14.7 per cent exiting the job market.

The latest Labour Force Survey released from Statistics Canada shows a decline of 27,000 in the employment of the population between the ages of 15-24 for the fifth consecutive month.

Compared to February 2011, last month’s numbers show youth employment was down by 69,000.

This trend in the labour market seems to be pushing younger people out of the labour market as their participation rate has falling nearly five per cent in the last three years.

According to theglobeandmail.com, participation levels for younger workers are approaching levels not seen since 1995; many are just losing faith in the job market and are disengaging from it.

Francis Fong, an economist for TD Canada Trust, released a paper about the disturbing trend in the employment number for youth; where he goes on to say that economic recovery for this fragile group has been nearly non-existent.

According to the document, only 1,300 net jobs have been added for the youth in the past two and a half years. This is exclusively affecting the youth as people over 25 are currently holding 400,000 more jobs than before the recession began. It includes people over 60, who are ‘dominating’ the labour market according to another release from Fong.

[pullquote]Younger Canadians enrolled in school have odd working hours, less experience and fewer skills to bring to new jobs[/pullquote]Also, according to the latest Labour Force Survey released from Statistics Canada; employment for workers age of 55 and over has grown by four percent in the last 12 months. This indicates that 24,000 jobs were added for this age group in the month of February alone.

Those fighting to delay retirement are making gains, while those looking to enter the job market are falling behind.

What is noteworthy is that younger Canadians enrolled in school have odd working hours, less experience and fewer skills to bring to new jobs. This is coupled with the fact that many older people are re-entering the job market and others who lost their jobs during the recession are taking jobs they would not normally hold. This means more competition for younger workers who don’t necessarily have the extended resume of these older age groups.

One example in the report points to the retail industry which has traditionally employed younger unseasoned workers in their camps, but they are now occupied by older workers aged over 60.

Fong indicated in his remarks that the increased pressure in the labor market is pushing younger workers back to school to acquire newer and more marketable skills. Although the increase in debt and fewer stable working opportunities will mean less spending and impact home purchases for years to come for the younger demographic.


The labour force aged between 15 and 19 were the most hit by the recession with 250,000 jobs lost since it began. While tho20-24 year old are seeing job numbers just below levels before the recession began.

Canada’s participation rate as a whole has slid to 66.5 per cent last month, which is its lowest level since April 2002. Additionally, the unemployment rate is down 0.2 per cent to 7.4 since to last month.

ARB Team
Arbitrage Magazine
Business News with BITE.

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