Economic Development News & Insight


The Secret to Combating Youth Unemployment

Laura Fuller / February 13, 2017

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The Secret to Combating Youth Unemployment

Youth unemployment has been a long-time concern for various countries, Canada included. According to Trading Economics, Canadian youth unemployment has never exceeded 20.7%, but once has been as low as 10.4% in 1989.

What is youth unemployment?

The United Nations defines youth unemployment as the unemployment of young people who are between the ages of 15 – 24 years old. Previous blog posts have mentioned aspects of youth unemployment, such as NEETs, and the lowered confidence levels involved with being a jobless adult. In short, NEET is a term that describes someone who is not enrolled in education, is not employed, and is not in any current training.

The end of 2016 saw a decline in unemployment levels among youth. The percentage went from 13.2% down to 12.6%, which is possibly attributed to seasonal and holiday positions. Looking at the full year’s statistics, Canadian unemployment rates stayed relatively steady overall, despite over 67,000 new jobs being created. Most of the jobs that were created are in fact part-time positions. The shift from full-time positions to part-time positions that have been created has fueled anxieties regarding the economy.

How to combat youth unemployment

An Interim Report on youth unemployment says that many young Canadians apply online to many jobs, but hear nothing back from anyone. The reason that people who apply online do not hear a response is because the employers do not even see the online applications many times. Employers are more likely to hire people who have networked themselves into an organization, rather than have multiple interviews with strangers from the Internet.

Having good connections in your industry is the best secret weapon in combating unemployment, especially among youth. Knowing various people in different stages of their career helps young adults find work much better than simply having skills. This is because people trust other people more than words on a paper. Having people who can affirm that someone has the skills and knowledge that they claim they do gives the employer the go-ahead for a candidate.

If you are currently searching for a job, remember to network with the people around you. Your peers and mentors will help you when you need an in with an organization. The most important thing to remember is that networking is key.

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