Canadian Youth Unemployment Continues to Rise

Why student debt and lack of work experience has led to this increase.

By: Matt Smith, Staff Writer

Photography By: Mat Melanson

Photography By: Mat Melanson

Are the youth of today just not qualified to join the work force?

When applying for a job there are two very important qualifications: education and work experience.  So which is the one bringing down the youth of today? Could it be both?

CBC.ca says that in 2011 75.5 per cent of Canadians below the age of 30 had completed some sort of post-secondary education.  Judging by this statistic there is no doubt that Canadians are well educated individuals.

So what’s the problem with education?

The United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW Canada) website says that more than 60 per cent of current post-secondary students will graduate with student debt  and that the average student debt is almost $28,000.

Leaving college/university with such staggering debt makes it incredibly difficult for graduates to pay for a house, groceries, and gas let alone find a job in the field they studied.

While this expensive endeavor does yield a degree, this achievement does not always benefits the graduate.

A recent report written by CIBC deputy chief economist, Benjamin Tal  says that, “while more education is positive, increasingly, students are completing their education without any work experience and are more likely to be caught in the no job-no experience, and no experience-no job cycle.”

Not only must the youth cohort strive to achieve higher education but they also must gain work experience at the same time.

Benjamin Tal continues to argue that “Policy-makers need to create options in which education and work-related training are combined.”

[pullquote]Need to create options in which education and work-related training are combined.[/pullquote]

It seems as though the youth of today is not merely to lazy to get a job but instead to weighed down by the burden of student debt and often to inexperienced to enter the work force.  As important and necessary higher education is, work experience is just as necessary when trying to be successful in a competitive job market.


CTV news
United Foods and Commercial Workers



Show more