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Transcript of Youth Unemployment
As previously mentioned, Canada is not the worst affected by youth unemployment from a global point of view.
The most extreme case is Ireland, where about 30 per cent of young people are without work. Estimates say that the impact of that joblessness will amount to about 12 per cent of GDP over the next two decades. Spain and Greece come next, with lower – but still “significant” impacts at more than 6 per cent.
Canada is no Spain or Greece. But high youth unemployment will slice a chunk off economic activity here as well – about 1.3 per cent over the next 18 years. (Tavia Grant, 2013)
When a larger proportion of youth are unemployed within any given community, the community experiences a decrease in human capital.
Increased unemployment leads to an increased economic cost on society through higher demand for social services programs.
The growing trend of unemployed youth also means decreased consumer spending within a society.
A high percentage of unemployed youth contributes to a decreased amount of money being paid into state and federal income taxes. The youth can’t contribute a proportion of their income when they’re unemployed.
The increase in youth unemployment has the potential to affect the future economic development of communities throughout the world.
What kind of impact can youth unemployment have?
Youth unemployment is an issue faced all over the world. On a global scale, Ireland, Spain and Greece have the most extreme rates of youth unemployment as of the past 2 years.
Canada, while not as badly afflicted as other nations, is still detrimentally affected by youth unemployment.
(Def'n): is the unemployment of young people, defined by the United Nations as 15–24 years old. An unemployed person is someone who does not have a job but is actively seeking work.
In order to qualify as unemployed for official and statistical measurement, the individual must be without employment, willing and able to work, of the officially designated 'working age' and actively searching for a position. (Andy Furlong, 2012)
In 2013, the unemployment rate for Ontario youth aged 15-24 fluctuated between 16% and 17.1%, trending above the Canadian range of 13.5% to 14.5% and placing Ontario as the worst province outside Atlantic Canada for high youth unemployment.” (Sean Geobey, 2013).
Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images (2011)
Despite being ready, willing and able to work many young workers are the first to lose their jobs when budget cuts and lay-offs come around. "Young workers are the labour market's canary in the coalmine." (Sean Geobey, 2013)
It’s no surprise that social unrest is taking hold in Greece, where "youth unemployment is running as high as 50 per cent."
(Charles Beach 2012)
Youths that cannot find a job in the beginning of their careers, unable to develop both skills and work experience to compliment a resume, "are more likely to be caught in the no job–no experience, and no experience–no job cycle," (Benjamin Tal, 2013).
Scarring: prior economic research has shown that people who see spells of joblessness early in their careers tend to see persistently lower wages for years afterward – an effect known as “scarring.” (Tavia Grant, 2013). Over the next 18 years it is calculated that the "loss due to scarring is C$12.4 billion." (Martin Schwerdtfeger, 2013)
In fact, it has also been calculated that over the next 18 years “the earnings loss due to to the rise in youth unemployment is equivalent to C$10.7 billion” (Martin Schwerdtfeger, 2013)
This graph gives an idea of where Canada stands internationally (in youth unemployment).
(Martin Schwerdtfeger, 2013)
Quebec's 2012 youth unemployment rate of 13.7 per cent was considerably lower than Ontario's of 16.9 per cent (Robert Benzie, 2013).
Although young people all over Canada face a highly competitive labour market, Ontario's job climate is especially challenging. In fact, Ontario has recently been found as one of the toughest places in Canada for young people looking for work, with youth unemployment rates trending higher than the national average, a study has found.
(Madhavi Acharya and Tom Yew, 2012)
In the 2013 Ontario budget, the government announced a $295-million, two-year strategy to address youth job creation. The strategy includes partially subsidizing employers and employees to create temporary job placements and funding for young entrepreneurs.
Additionally, many young people seeing the bleak job climate facing them decide to pursue jobs and careers abroad. “They have no opportunities as they see it at home. They have to pay higher taxes, and it’s because of nothing they did. Why should they stick around and pay higher taxes on infrequent jobs?” (Charles Beach, 2012) This exodus of youth workers outsources jobs away from Canada, bringing with it economic loss and unnecessary strain on the country's whole economic system.
Not all is as bleak as it seems for Canada's young workers. According to this graph, Canadian youth have a higher chance of finding employment than those who live elsewhere in the western world. "The New Zealand Herald reports that youth unemployment (in Canada) is 29 per cent among those aged 18 to 24. The Telegraph reports that youth unemployment is 36 per cent in Greece, 29 per cent in Italy, 32 per cent in Ireland, 24 per cent in Sweden and 20 per cent in the United Kingdom and — get this — 44 per cent in Spain." (Josh Dehaas, 2011). The only European countries with significantly lower youth unemployment than Canada are Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
While there may not be a decisive, permanent solution to youth unemployment, Canada's government is doing what it can to mitigate the ongoing economic problem.
As it is such a widespread issue, nations around the globe would benefit from an economic plan that's sole aim is to reduce youth unemployment. While such a thing does not exist currently, ideas for reduction of the rate youth unemployment are being formed. Martin Shwerdtfeger, Senior Economist of TD Bank, wrote that “Economic research suggests that training, educational upgrading, and labour mobility reduce the scarring effect caused by youth unemployment,” and stated “Their facilitation should be at the top of the to-do-list of policy makers if they want to reduce the long term costs of youth unemployment.”
This map shows youth unemployment rates across Canada. (Peter Lozinski, 2013)
Averting the quiet disaster of youth unemployment. (n.d.). Retrieved from
An awful jobs report for young people. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Canada’s shame: EI is stealing from the young. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Canada’s youth are hardly making gains in employment. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Canada’s youth unemployment isn’t so bad. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Canada youth unemployment. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/
Can't find a job then make one youth told. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Employment insurance. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/
Furlong, A. (2012). Youth Studies: An introduction.
How did we create such bleak job prospects for Canada’s youth? (n.d.). Retrieved
Jobless youth will have a big cost for world economy. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Negative effects of youth unemployment. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Ontario’s youth unemployment is higher than rust belt states and Quebec, new
study finds. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/
Ontario youth facing chronic unemployment. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Ontario youth unemployment among the worst in canada. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Young and jobless. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.policyalternatives.ca/
Youth unemployment. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.td.com/document/PDF/
Youth Unemployment Canada: 420,000 Jobless, Not In School, CIBC Says. (n.d.).
Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/20/
Youth unemployment’s ripple effect: Why young workers fall behind for a decade
or more. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/business/2012/07/10/
As well as its economic implications, youth unemployment can also have an impact socially. Frustrated young men, who are unable to find gainful employment, “tend to get worked up about things and they have a lot of time on their hands," (Charles Beach, 2012).
Christopher Furlong, Getty Images, 2013
This cycle has a negative effect on both the youth and the economy as a whole;
“If youth aren’t getting that labour market experience, that has a scarring effect which can last a long time,” (Charles Beach, 2012)
(Muhammad Faraz, 2011)
Changes in economy have a larger and more immediate effect on youth workers than any other working age group. Youths looking to start their careers are susceptible to a wide range of economic hindrance; they require more experience and education than ever to be successful in today's labour market, and are often the first to receive pay cuts or lay offs. The problems they face affect more than just themselves, as youth unemployment also has a major influence on society as a whole, in addition to the economy. Finding a solution to youth unemployment in Canada would both nurture the next generation work force of the nation and hugely stimulate Canada's economic growth.
By Finn Toohill