Young people under the age of 24 who have long said that it's hard to find a job now have the proof to back their claims up. A new report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has found that Ontario is one of the most difficult provinces to find a job in if you're young.
The report, "The Young and the Jobless," analyzed the 2012 Statistics Canada Labour Force survey and found that youth unemployment levels are twice as high as the overall provincial youth unemployment rate.
In the report, author Sean Geobey compares youth unemployment rates to employment rates and finds that while there are many people still looking for active work throughout the province, the unemployment numbers may in fact be misleading because of an increase in young people who are in informal or unpaid work arrangements, in school or have simply given up looking for work all together. Taken together, the rates tell a story of a large, silent population of young people who are not involved in the job market.
Particularly hard hit are young people without any postsecondary education, though those with advanced degrees also had comparable youth unemployment levels.
In Toronto, less than half of people 24-15 are employed, a phenomenon that could be explained by the large amount of internships offered in the area and the amount of immigration, both within Canada and outside of it, to the Greater Toronto Area. Geobey points out in the report however there is no firm evidence that any of these explain why Toronto youth are experiencing such high levels of unemployment.
Meanwhile, areas that relied on manufacturing as a major job source have seen rising unemployment rates, indicative of a trend all over Canada. However, Thunder Bay and Sudbury have seen improvement that can be credited in part to a rise in the importance of resource extraction, like mining, to the Canadian economy.
Areas that have research-intensive industries such as information technology and biotech also have lower unemployment rates for young people. In Waterloo, Hamilton and Ottawa these industries are growing and have led to a stronger employment rate overall. As well, young people who have post secondary certificate or diploma have a better overall employment rate than those who have bachelor or advanced degrees.
Geobey calls on the provincial government to step up to the task of creating youth employment opportunities. While the recently announced Youth Employment Fund is certainly a step in the right direction, he points out that the countries with lowest youth unemployment rates, such as Austria, Japan and Germany all have competitive and well structured apprenticeship or co-operative education programs.
"Greater investment in programming along these lines can increase the responsiveness of both the labour market and the education system to economic means," he writes, "while at the same time providing more educational experiences."
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.