Student summer unemployment rate stays steady in 2018

Ontario loses 80,000 jobs in August—the most since 2009

The results of the Labour Force Survey from May to August 2018 indicated that there were no significant changes in the employment and unemployment rates for returning students compared to last year.

According to Statistics Canada, this summer recorded an unemployment rate of 13.4 per cent for returning students aged 15 to 24. This marks a decline of 0.9 percentage points compared to the summer of 2017.

The unemployment rate for returning students who were 17-19 years old was 13.2 per cent while the unemployment rate for returning students aged 20-24 was nine per cent, which was steady in comparison to 2017.

The unemployment rate measures people who do not have a job, and are actively seeking one.

A breakdown of each province’s student unemployment rates for the month of August showed that there was a decrease in all the provinces compared to the previous year—with the exception of Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan had the highest student unemployment rate in Canada in August at 15.4 per cent while Prince Edward Island had the lowest at 4.1 per cent.

A closer look at the Ontario stats indicate that the unemployment rate for returning students rose from 11.8 per cent in August 2017 to 12.2 per cent last month, the third highest rate in Canada.

However, while student employment rates raised no major alarms,  Ontario took a massive hit to jobs in August.

“After two consecutive monthly increases, employment in Ontario fell by 80,000 in August,” the report stated. Ontario’s unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 5.7 per cent, which is still under the national average of six per cent.

“Canada’s prosperity depends on young Canadians getting a fair chance at success,” said Véronique Simard, press secretary for Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.

“We will take no lessons from the Conservatives, whose policies drove youth unemployment to the highest rates since the 90’s,” Simard added, while speaking on behalf of the minister who was in Argentina for the G20 labour ministerial and was unavailable for an interview.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) expressed concerns regarding student employment as a means of affording education.

“Once up on a time in Canada, there was a general understanding that if you worked in the summer you would make enough money, and be able to save enough money to at least pay for the cost of your tuition and some additional educational related expenses,” said Rick Telfer, a researcher for the CFS. “That’s not the case anymore”

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Student summer unemployment rate stays steady in 2018