Unemployment rate lower as youths leave the labour force

Oct 11, 2013 | News

By Peter Davey

For the first time since 2009, Canada’s unemployment rate slid below 7 per cent thanks to fewer youths searched for work.

The September labour force survey released today by Statistics Canada shows a 0.2 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate, which is now 6.9 per cent.

Peter Davey

For the first time since 2009 Canada’s unemployment rate is below 7 per cent.

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployment, as a percentage of the labour force. The rate can fall when people who are looking for a job and cannot find one, leave the labour force and are no longer counted.

“It is often the case that when people are in such a bad job market, that they essentially give up,” said Sean Geobey who authored the recent Center for Policy Alternatives report The Young and the Jobless.

TD economist Leslie Preston told Humber News that in periods of soft economic growth, young workers often have a difficult time finding work, as they are the last to be hired and the first to be fired.

“I’m not optimistic right now,” Goebey told Humber News. “In Ontario in particular, we’re not just dealing with something from the recession, we’re actually dealing with a problem that goes back for more than a decade.”

According to the reports findings, the unemployment rate for Ontarians aged 15-24 was between 16 and 17 per cent in 2013. The national rate was between 13.5 and 14.5 per cent

The provincial government launched the Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy in April 2013, to tackle unemployment by focusing on jobs, entrepreneurship and innovation. In Goebey’s opinion, the nearly $300 million invested by the province may not be enough.

“I certainly have hopes that [the strategy] will help turn it around,” said Geobey. “But looking at the numbers and the amount it is invested in it and the size of the problems, I’m worried that it might be too little to really turn it around.”