Youth Unemployment

Researcher: Urvi Prajapati


What is youth unemployment?

Youth unemployment is simply unemployment of youths who do not have jobs and or are actively seeking for jobs. It is a fluctuating issue that is rising in many of the urban cities.  


Youth Unemployment rates in Canada “averaged 14.13 percent from 1976 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 20.70 percent in October of 1982 and a record low of 10.40 percent in July of 1989” (Trading Economics , 2017). In the recent times the overall unemployment rate has however decreased to, “12.60 percent in December from 12.90 percent in November of 2016” (Trading Economics , 2017). This means that when compared to the overall percentage, the unemployment rate has decreased. However, the number still remains fairly high. The chart below accurately represents this fluctuation.

youth unemployment

When looked at the London youth unemployment rates for the last two years, according to statistics Canada, the youth population did increase between December of 2015 and 2016 by one percent. However, there was a decrease in the percent entering the labour force in 2016. Due to this the unemployment rates also increased to 11.4 percent from 14.9 percent. This is represented in the last column of the chart below (Statistics Canada, 2017).

youth unemployment1

In 2013, Canada Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) wrote a report on youth unemployment and it stated that, “Windsor, Oshawa, Brantford and London stand out as a youth unemployment hotspots: their youth unemployment rate is over 20%, similar to the European Union rates” (Geoby, 2013). In a CTV article called; Ontario youth unemployment among the worst in Canada: report mentions the same CCPA report and further talks about the 2013 governments plan to improve the situation. It says that, “In 2013 Ontario budget, the government announced a $295-million, two-year strategy to address youth job creation. The strategy includes partially subsidizing employers and employees to create temporary job placements and funding for young entrepreneurs” (Leung, 2013).

Since the economic crash in 2009 Ontario has created almost 400,000 jobs in 2012 (Ontario Ministry of Finance, 2013). However, due to all efforts the youths have been facing high unemployment. The 2013 budget released for the province of Ontario mentions that the percentages are low due to the job losses during the downturn. Furthermore, “in 2012, the youth employment rate stood at 50 per cent, compared to 57 per cent in 2007” (Ontario Ministry of Finance, 2013). Meaning the efforts in the fast from the province overall hasn’t been quite successful. There have been many strategies, funds, incentives, and many educational programs set to help the youths as well as for the employers to provide or create more jobs since then. When compared to 2013 percentages, as seen in the graph below the overall percentage of unemployment within the province decreased significantly during the downturn and has been fluctuating since then (Statistics Canada, 2016).

youth unemployment2

youth unemployment3

The numbers above show the youth unemployment rate from Statistics Canada, talked about before. The chart helps to visualize the numbers better throughout the city of London.

All the numbers further shows the cause of unemployment.

youth unemployment4

The table above shows the different percentages of education levels in the general population. It can be seen that the amount of people graduating out of high school has decreased by one percent, and so has the post-secondary percentages (Statistics Canada, 2017).

youth unemployment5

This chart shows the average earnings based on the highest education for individuals from the 2006 census; represented in the last column (Statistsics Canada, 2006).

The different education levels highlights the difference between incomes in various age groups that have taken place in London as well as the province of Ontario as a whole. As seen above the low percentage of individuals attending post-secondary suggests the decrease in income levels and higher unemployment rates among the youths. Since, less education leads to no or low income jobs.

In many cases, despite getting post-secondary education and well-paying jobs, the cost of tuition is higher than it used to before, leading to more students in debts. At the same time, due to higher unemployment rates sometimes lack of job can also lead to one not being able to pay their debt. Overall these unemployment trends have led to youths moving back in with their parents to save money and further help with their overall situation. Many also have to move either out of their city or province to seek the desired jobs. Specially in London, where youth unemployment is high due to high number of students as well as minimal opportunities in the professional realm. Causing graduates and families to often find work in other cities.


Geoby, S. (2013). Youth Unemployment in Ontario. Toronto: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Retrieved from

Leung, M. (2013). Ontario youth unemployment among the worst in Canada: report. Toronto: CTV News.

Ontario Ministry of Finance. (2013). Youth Job Creation. Retrieved from

Statistics Canada. (2016). Chart 2 Unemployment Rate. Retrieved from

Statistics Canada. (2017). Labour force characteristics, unadjusted, by census metropolitan area (3 month moving average) . Retrieved from

Statistics Canada. (2017). Labour force survey estimates (LFS), by educational attainment, sex and age group. Retrieved from

Statistsics Canada. (2006). Average Earnings of the population. London. Retrieved from

Trading Economics . (2017). Canada Youth Unemployment . Retrieved from