On the heels of last week’s unemployment data, released by Statistics Canada, Unifor and the Canadian Federation of Students said young workers are being left in the dust.
The monthly jobs report indicated employment amongst young workers and students fell by a whopping 20,000 jobs, according to the statistical agency’s Labour Force Survey for August.
The timing should have yielded the opposite result, said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s national president.
“Over the summer, the unemployment rate for young workers, aged 15 to 24, stayed stubbornly high, as it has been since the recession. This is the very time that it should be easier for young people to find jobs — the jobs that they need to be able to go to school in September,” Dias said, adding that, “Whatever recovery has happened entirely bypassed young people.”
According to the CFS, more than one in four workers is classified as underemployed, often working in a series of low-skilled, part-time or temporary jobs. By today’s standard, one in every three young postsecondary graduates will transition from school into a low-skilled job, carrying with them an average debt-load of $28,000.
“A good job has never been harder to find, and students will take actions to change that,” said Jessica McCormick, national chairperson for the CFS. “Graduating with record-high debt levels, this generation’s students are further limited in career options. When more than half of all students have to borrow to finance their education, debt becomes the deciding factor for career options in an already precarious job market.”
Unifor, the CFS, Ryerson University’s Centre for Labour Management Relations and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives will host a national Good Jobs Summit in early October – the discussion for which will focus on the state of the economy and creation of meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities for young people in particular.