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Contextual Module

Children and Youth in Canada - The Context of their Lives (module table of contents)

Section 4: Economic Inequities (section table of contents)


For younger workers in Canada, economic recovery after the recession has been almost non-existent, and youth 15 to 24 years of age entering the workforce are faced with some significant challenges. “In addition to competition within their own age group, they now must compete with older workers looking to re-enter the labour market and those more experienced who lost their job during the recession.”1

Increased competition leads young graduates to take jobs outside of their degrees or pulls them out of the labour market. Unable to find jobs in their area of study, university and college grads often retreat into another degree or into jobs that support them but don’t put their training to use.1

1Fong F. (2012). “The Plight of Younger Workers.” TD Economics. - accessed on June 29, 2012.

In 2011, just over half (55.4%) of youth were employed—52.6% were employed full time and 47.4% were employed part time. In 2011, Alberta (62.7%), Saskatchewan (60.8%), Manitoba (60.8%), and Quebec (57.7%) had youth employment rates above the national average. Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest proportion of youth and young adults holding a job. With an employment rate of 46.3%, Newfoundland and Labrador was 9.1 percentage points below the national average.

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