Ontario’s youth struggle to find work

By Staff | September 27, 2013 | Last updated on September 27, 2013
2 min read

Half of young Ontarians can’t find a job, according to a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Five years after the global economic meltdown, youth employment levels in the province are still down, and they’re much lower than the national average, says the report.

The employment gap between youth and older workers in Ontario is now at an all-time high, with only one in two youth holding a paying job.

Read: Young people lack job skills

“Ontario’s youth joblessness problem isn’t simply a post-recession hangover—it’s becoming chronic,” says University of Waterloo researcher Sean Geobey, the report’s author.

“The joblessness trends suggest something new is at play: the labour market for young workers in Ontario is even more inhospitable than it was following the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s.”

Read: Financial fears drive choice of college for students

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.

Windsor, Oshawa, Brantford and London stand out as youth unemployment hotspots: their youth unemployment rate is over 20%, similar to European Union rates.

Read: Labour market conditions weaken for young Canadians

Toronto’s youth employment rate is 43.5%. That’s the worst employment rate of any Ontario region and it may be driving some youth out of the province in search of work. It also has the largest gap between youth and adult employment in the province, at 21.8%—the highest it’s ever been.

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.