By Chris Sorensen and Charlie Gillis - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 0 Comments
Why a generation of well-educated, ambitious, smart young Canadians has no future
Melanie Cullins is no pipe dreamer. She chose a vocation that, by unanimous opinion, represented a path to steady employment—teaching English as a second language to the thousands of immigrants pouring into B.C., a good many of whom, the experts predicted, would be making their way to Victoria, where she grew up and wished to make a home. That was back in the early 2000s, when opportunities for the young and industrious appeared unlimited. A rewarding career seemed within reach for all.
Cullins’s degree in applied linguistics was the gold standard of ESL qualifications. But she graduated in the thick of the 2008 financial meltdown, and the entry-level position she imagined would launch her career never materialized. Governments cut back on language transition programs. Resumés piled up in recruitment offices. Her calls to program directors went unanswered. “For me, that was a huge blow,” she says. “I had almost perfect performance reviews from my practicums, but I couldn’t even get an interview. You start to wonder: what’s wrong with me?” Continue…
By Erica Alini - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
A new report (opens a PDF) from the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada sheds further light on why we shouldn’t really be pitying the youth. (For Stephen Gordon’s take on this, see here.)
Workers ages 15-24 (formally “the youth” for statisticians and economists) had an easier time during the latest recession than they did in the previous two. At roughly 15 per cent, the peak unemployment rate for youth in 2008-2009 was considerably lower than the levels seen in 1990 and 1981-82, which stood at over 17 and 19 per cent respesctively. (Don’t be shocked that the youth unemployment rate is so much higher among youth than older demographics, that’s normal in developed economies.)
By Stephen Gordon - Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM - 0 Comments
In an article on youth unemployment, the Globe and Mail quotes Judith Maxwell as saying
“People over their forties in Canada have no idea what it’s like for a young person trying to find a pathway to adulthood right now.”
That seems unlikely. A 49-year-old who started looking for a job at 18 would have entered the labour force in 1981; a 40-year-old who entered the workforce at age 23 would have done so in 1995. What did the labour market for youth look like between 1981 and 1995? The answer is “not pretty”:
With the brief exception of the last two or three years of the 1980s, young people who joined the labour force between 1981 and 1995 faced conditions at least as difficult as the ones being faced by today’s youth. The boom years of the latter half of the 1990s arrived too late for people who are now in their forties.
This is not to say that youth unemployment is not a problem, that it doesn’t create personal hardship or that the concerns about the effect of the recession on human capital formation are not well-founded. It’s just not new: the parents of twentysomethings do know something about the difficulties in getting traction in a weak job market.
[Update: I just noticed that Judith Maxwell refers to those over their forties, not in their forties. But that doesn't really change the bottom line: conditions today look roughly similar to those faced by people who entered the labour force when Statistics Canada started the Labour Force Survey in 1976.]
By John Geddes - Monday, June 11, 2012 at 1:12 PM - 0 Comments
There’s been plenty of heated response to Emma Teitel’s “Boomers, You Folks Had it Easy,” column. It left me curious about what I suppose might be the most telling single indicator of the labour force’s ability to absorb new entrants—the unemployment rate for 15- to 24-year-olds. So I asked Statistics Canada for that data, going back through the decades. And here you go: six statistical snapshots of how the job market looked just after the spring graduation ceremonies:
Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for youth (15 to 24 years) Canada
June 1962: 9.1 per cent
June 1972: 11.1 per cent
June 1982: 18.3 per cent
June 1992: 17.9 per cent
June 2002: 14 per cent
May 2012: 14.3 per cent
(Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey. Sticklers might want to note that the survey for 1962 and 1972 was slightly different than for subsequent years.)
By Erica Alini - Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 1:49 PM - 0 Comments
Looking for a good gig that pays over 60K? Consider farming.
No, seriously. After a long period of stagnation, net farm incomes are rising. Net operating income for the average Canadian farm was over $65,000 in 2011, up a whopping 35 per cent from an average of roughly $42,000 between 2006 and 2010. Only in 1995, that figure was below $30,000:
“The economics of agriculture are coming back,” says Jeff Grubb, a Regina-based lawyer with expertise in agricultural law. “In the 1980s and 90s farm families needed to have some source of off-farm income,” at least in the prairies, recalls Grubb, who is himself the owner of a 700-acre farm. That’s less and less the case today, though, he says–courtesy of steadily climbing commodity prices and ever-larger farms.
By Erica Alini - Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 2:06 PM - 23 Comments
The worst level in a generation? Think again."Young Canadians face other challenges – including the worst level of joblessness in a generation"- Michael Ignatieff
April 11, 2011
Bull Meter score:
Michael Ignatieff is exaggerating here. The unemployment rate among 15 to 24 year-olds has been hovering around 14.4 per cent for the first three months of this year. It’s by no means a rosy picture, but the figure is significantly down from where it stood at the peak of the recession in 2009: an annualized rate of 15.2 per cent. Even that, though, was not extraordinarily bad by historical standards: youth unemployment hit 16.3 per cent in 1997, and reached an annualized rate of 17.2 per cent during the early 1990s economic crisis. Joblessness among the young was also considerably worse during the economic downturn of the early 1980s, when it hit 19.2 per cent in 1983.
Heard something that doesn’t sound quite right? Send quotes from the campaign trail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll tell you just how much bull they contain.