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Jobs for Youth: Canada

Jobs for Youth: Canada    
Format Softcover
Catalogue No. 812008111P
Pages 172
Language English; Aussi disponible en français
Price $50.60
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Published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2008.


The recent performance of the youth labour market in Canada is very good compared with most other OECD Member countries, according to the just-released OECD report on Jobs for Youth: Canada. Sustained economic growth and a very flexible labour market by international standards have contributed to rising employment rates and falling overall unemployment for all, including for youth. This report on Canada contains a survey of the main barriers to employment for young people, an assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of existing measures to improve the transition from school to work, and a set of policy recommendations for further action by the public authorities and social partners.

Highlights from Jobs for Youth: Canada:

The employment rate among 15 to 24 year olds rose to 59.5% in 2007, up from 51.5% in 1997, and well above the OECD average of 44% for both years. During the same period, the youth unemployment rate decreased from 16% to 11%, thus below the 2007 OECD average of 13%. The long-term youth unemployment incidence is particularly low in Canada, at 2% in 2007, compared with an OECD average of 20%.

Canada combines a high youth employment rate with the highest proportion in the OECD of young people attending university or college. Its secondary school drop-out rate, at 8.7% in 2005, is far lower than the 13% OECD average. However, Aboriginal youth and low school achievers are over-represented among early school-leavers, particularly in booming provinces such as Alberta. There are simply too few vocational programs to help them to stay in high school.

Despite these impressive outcomes in the youth labour market, more could be done in Canada to strengthen the education and labour market policies to provide a smoother transition from school to work and ensure youth can move the career ladders. In particular, the government should take steps to discourage early school leaving and should smooth the school to work transition for marginalized youth. Existing youth programs should be redirected towards those who face multiple barriers to sustainable employment. In addition, active intervention targeted on young repeat users of Employment Insurance (EI) and social assistance benefits should prevent them from becoming long term benefit recipients.

Improving the performance of youth on the labour market is a crucial challenge in OECD countries facing persistent youth unemployment. As labour markets become more and more selective, a lack of relevant skills brings a higher risk of unemployment. Whatever the level of qualification, first experiences on the labour market have a profound influence on later working life.

OECD has launched a series of Jobs for Youth reports for several countries including Canada. Each report contains a survey of the main barriers to employment for young people and an assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of existing measures to improve the transition from school to work.

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This page last modified: July 16, 2008

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