Recent Trends in Youth Employment

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Recent Trends in Youth Employment
  • Over the past 15 months, Canada’s previously tight labour market has softened considerably. The slowdown in the youth labour market has been particularly significant.
  • From January 2023 to May 2024, the youth unemployment rate (15–24) rose from 9.7 to 12.6 percent. Meanwhile, the youth employment rate fell from 59.4 to 55.6 percent.
  • The 3.8 percentage point decline in Canada’s youth employment rate since January 2023 is slightly smaller than the decline that occurred during the 2008–09 recession.
  • The recent downturn in the youth labour market comes in the historical context of a long-term decline in youth labour market outcomes. Longer-term trends show that youth employment and participation rates have consistently remained worse than those of the broader labour force since the late 1980s.
  • For those young Canadians who are employed, the typical level of attachment to the workforce has fallen. This bulletin shows that the median number of hours worked for young Canadians who are employed has fallen by 16.3 percent since the end of the 1980s.
  • Extensive evidence shows that delayed and weak attachment to the workforce for young Canadians, both in the short- and long-term trends, can cre¬ate lifelong scarring on labour market outcomes. These trends are concerning and should be the subject of additional monitoring and research going forward.

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