Perspectives on the Youth Labour Market in Canada

Release date: December 5, 2016

Presentation to the National Statistics Council
April 2016

René Morissette
Social Analysis and Modelling Division
Analytical Studies Branch

The following presentation was given by Statistics Canada's Social Analysis and Modelling Division (SAMD) at the National Statistics Council Meeting in April 2016 to highlight recent research findings related to the youth labour market.

Following the 2008-to-2009 recession, concerns have been raised about the relatively high level of unemployment experienced by young individuals. This presentation shows how various labour market indicators have evolved for youth since the mid-1970s/early 1980s in Canada. A comparison is made with labour market indicators for older individuals. The degree to which specific groups of youth―the less educated ones versus the more highly educated, young recent immigrants and young Aboriginal people―have been successful in the Canadian labour market is assessed. A key finding is that while youth unemployment today is similar to that of the 1970s, job quality appears to have deteriorated for many young people.

Outline

  1. (Un)employment, wages and wealth of youth over the past few decades
  2. Some effects of the (already old) oil boom on youth
  3. Education and the youth labour market
  4. Young Aboriginal people
  5. Young immigrants

I. (Un)employment, wages and wealth of youth over the past few decades

Unemployment has been historically higher for youth than for older workers

A line graph of Chart 01
Description for Chart 1

Note: The circles highlight the fact that youth unemployment rates were at fairly similar levels in 2015 and during the mid-1970s

Unemployment rate of youth and older workers, 1953 to 2015, percentage
  Individuals under 25 Individuals 25 and over
1953 4.5 2.5
1954 6.9 3.8
1955 6.7 3.7
1956 5.2 2.9
1957 7.3 3.9
1958 11.0 5.9
1959 9.4 5.0
1960 11.0 5.8
1961 10.9 6.1
1962 9.4 4.9
1963 9.3 4.5
1964 7.9 3.7
1965 6.5 3.1
1966 6.0 2.8
1967 6.8 3.2
1968 8.2 3.7
1969 7.9 3.6
1970 10.4 4.4
1971 11.4 4.7
1972 11.1 4.6
1973 10.0 4.0
1974 9.6 3.8
1975 12.5 5.0
1976 12.4 5.1
1977 13.8 5.8
1978 14 6.2
1979 12.7 5.6
1980 12.8 5.5
1981 12.8 5.7
1982 18.2 8.6
1983 19.2 9.6
1984 17.4 9.4
1985 15.8 8.9
1986 14.7 8.1
1987 13.2 7.6
1988 11.5 6.8
1989 10.9 6.7
1990 12.3 7.1
1991 15.8 9.1
1992 17.2 9.9
1993 17.2 10.2
1994 15.9 9.3
1995 14.8 8.4
1996 15.4 8.5
1997 16.3 7.7
1998 15.1 7
1999 14.1 6.3
2000 12.7 5.7
2001 12.9 6.1
2002 13.6 6.5
2003 13.6 6.4
2004 13.4 5.9
2005 12.4 5.7
2006 11.7 5.3
2007 11.2 5
2008 11.6 5.1
2009 15.4 7
2010 14.9 6.8
2011 14.3 6.3
2012 14.4 6
2013 13.7 5.9
2014 13.5 5.8
2015 13.2 5.8

Individuals under 25 had similar unemployment rates in 1976 and 2014, but lower full-time employment rates in 2014

A histogram bar graph of Chart 02
Description for Chart 2
Unemployment rate (U) and full-time employment-to-population ratio (FTE), 1976 and 2014, men and women aged 17 to 24 (full-time students excluded)
  U: Men 17 to 24 FTE: Men 17 to 24 U: Women 17 to 24 FTE: Women 17 to 24
1976 13.5 76.8 11.8 58.7
2014 14.3 59.1 11.2 48.0

The drop in full-time employment rates was observed among men of all ages and among women under 25

Two line graphs for Chart 03
Description for Chart 3
Percentage of the population employed full time in their main job, 1976 to 2014 (full-time students excluded) — Men
  17 to 24 years 25 to 29 years 30 to 54 years
1976 76.8 89.1 90.0
1977 75.3 87.5 89.0
1978 75.5 88.1 88.9
1979 77.2 88.1 89.6
1980 76.4 87.6 89.0
1981 75.4 87.0 89.0
1982 64.7 81.0 84.9
1983 62.5 78.5 83.6
1984 64.9 79.4 83.7
1985 67.3 81.3 84.4
1986 68.9 81.6 85.5
1987 71.7 83.5 86.1
1988 73.3 84.9 86.7
1989 74.1 85.0 86.5
1990 70.5 82.8 85.3
1991 62.6 77.9 82.7
1992 59.1 75.9 80.7
1993 57.6 75.4 80.3
1994 60.0 77.2 81.0
1995 61.4 78.4 81.4
1996 60.9 78.5 80.8
1997 62.3 79.4 81.6
1998 62.3 81.1 82.3
1999 64.9 82.5 82.9
2000 66.2 83.7 83.5
2001 65.5 82.0 83.0
2002 64.6 81.5 82.7
2003 64.1 82.2 83.1
2004 64.5 81.2 83.9
2005 65.1 82.6 83.8
2006 66.2 83.1 83.9
2007 67.6 82.8 84.0
2008 65.6 83.2 83.9
2009 59.6 79.0 80.9
2010 59.0 79.4 81.1
2011 59.6 79.4 82.2
2012 60.0 80.3 82.6
2013 59.8 79.4 82.6
2014 59.1 78.8 82.6
Percentage of the population employed full time in their main job, 1976 to 2014 (full-time students excluded) — Women
  17 to 24 years 25 to 29 years 30 to 54 years
1976 58.7 44.3 36.1
1977 58.0 44.9 36.6
1978 58.2 47.3 38.0
1979 59.2 48.9 39.3
1980 60.4 50.5 40.6
1981 60.5 51.2 42.5
1982 54.5 50.7 42.0
1983 53.5 51.9 42.4
1984 54.0 52.4 44.4
1985 55.8 53.3 45.8
1986 57.4 56.2 47.7
1987 59.4 56.9 49.6
1988 60.9 58.8 51.2
1989 61.7 60.4 53.0
1990 59.8 60.5 53.9
1991 55.2 59.3 53.1
1992 52.0 58.4 52.8
1993 48.9 56.7 52.8
1994 48.8 58.4 53.3
1995 48.8 57.5 54.4
1996 46.6 57.8 54.0
1997 45.6 59.1 54.7
1998 47.7 61.1 56.2
1999 51.2 62.5 57.4
2000 52.8 63.5 58.6
2001 54.0 64.9 58.9
2002 53.0 64.9 59.9
2003 53.0 65.9 60.4
2004 53.4 66.2 61.6
2005 54.2 66.5 61.8
2006 55.8 68.0 62.6
2007 54.9 68.3 64.1
2008 54.8 68.1 63.8
2009 50.3 65.9 62.9
2010 48.9 65.5 62.7
2011 49.7 64.9 63.4
2012 48.7 65.1 64.0
2013 49.0 65.6 64.5
2014 48.0 64.9 64.1

The increased incidence of part-time employment drove most of the decline in the full-time employment rate of individuals under 25

Sources of decline in full-time employment rates, 1976 to 2014 (full-time students excluded)
Table Summary
  Men
17 to 24
Women
17 to 24
Men
25 to 29
Men
30 to 54
Changes in full-time employment rate, 1976 to 2014 (percentage points) -17.7 -10.7 -10.2 -7.5
Sources of decline (%):
Participation 23.8 -58.1 35.7 39.5
Unemployment 3.7 -3.3 21.7 19.7
Part-time employment 72.5 161.3 42.5 40.8
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

The drop in full-time employment rates was also observed among young individuals with a university degree (except women aged 25 to 29)

A histogram bar graph of Chart 04
Description for Chart 4
Change in the percentage of the population employed full time in their main job, 1976 to 2014, by education level (full-time students excluded)
  Men 17 to 24 Men 25 to 29 Women 17 to 24 Women 25 to 29
No university degree -18.1 -10.9 -11.9 17.7
University degree -16.6 -9.6 -16.2 8.7

When they have full-time jobs, youth are now more likely to be in temporary jobs than in the past

Two histogram bar graphs from Chart 05
Description for Chart 5
Percentage of full-time employees working in temporary jobs, 1989 to 2014 (students excluded) — Men
  15 to 24 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 54 years
1989 7.4 4.8 2.1
1997 22.0 8.5 5.8
2014 24.1 10.3 6.7
Percentage of full-time employees working in temporary jobs, 1989 to 2014 (students excluded) — Women
  15 to 24 years 25 to 34 years 35 to 54 years
1989 7.8 3.0 3.4
1997 20.6 8.0 6.0
2014 26.0 10.7 6.2

Despite rising education levels, real wages grew little during the 1980s and 1990s

Two line graphes for Chart 06
Description for Chart 6
Percentage of full-time employees aged 17 to 64 with a university degree, 1976 to 2014
  % with university degree
1976 11.0
1977 11.3
1978 11.7
1979 11.9
1980 12.2
1981 12.6
1982 13.3
1983 14.5
1984 14.9
1985 15.1
1986 15.1
1987 15.9
1988 16.8
1989 17.0
1990 15.6
1991 16.3
1992 17.3
1993 18.6
1994 19.1
1995 19.4
1996 19.3
1997 19.5
1998 19.9
1999 20.4
2000 20.9
2001 21.6
2002 21.8
2003 21.9
2004 22.4
2005 23.4
2006 24.3
2007 24.9
2008 25.3
2009 26.4
2010 27.1
2011 27.2
2012 28.4
2013 28.9
2014 29.2
Median real wages of full-time employees aged 17 to 64, 1980 to 2014 (1981=100)
  median weekly wages median hourly wages
1980 100.2 -
1981 100.0Chart 6b Note 2 100.0
1982 99.8Chart 6b Note 2 101.5Chart 6b Note 1
1983 99.6Chart 6b Note 2 103.0Chart 6b Note 1
1984 99.5Chart 6b Note 2 104.4
1985 99.3 102.8Chart 6b Note 1
1986 100.0Chart 6b Note 2 101.2
1987 100.7Chart 6b Note 2 101.7
1989 101.4Chart 6b Note 2 103.7
1989 102.1Chart 6b Note 2 102.3
1990 102.8 102.5
1991 102.5Chart 6b Note 2 102.6Chart 6b Note 1
1992 102.2Chart 6b Note 2 102.8Chart 6b Note 1
1993 102.0Chart 6b Note 2 103.0Chart 6b Note 1
1994 101.7Chart 6b Note 2 103.1Chart 6b Note 1
1995 101.4 103.3Chart 6b Note 1
1996 102.1Chart 6b Note 2 103.5Chart 6b Note 1
1997 102.9Chart 6b Note 2 103.6
1998 103.6Chart 6b Note 2 104.2
1999 104.4Chart 6b Note 2 104.1
2000 105.1 104.6
2001 106.2 106.0
2002 104.8 105.5
2003 104.8 104.5
2004 104.6 105.4
2005 104.7 104.5
2006 106.9 106.0
2007 107.4 106.8
2008 109.1 109.4
2009 110.2 110.9
2010 112.2 112.4
2011 111.5 110.6
2012 112.5 112.3
2013 114.1 114.1
2014 114.4 113.7

The wages of young full-time employees, especially employees under 25, have fallen since the early 1980s, compared with those of older employees

Two line graphes for Chart 07
Description for Chart 7
Median real hourly wages of men in full-time jobs, 1981 to 2014 (1981=100)
  17-24 25-34 35-44 45-54
1981 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
96.8Chart 7 Note 1 100.5Chart 7 Note 1 102.6Chart 7 Note 1 103.7Chart 7 Note 1
93.7Chart 7 Note 1 100.9Chart 7 Note 1 105.1Chart 7 Note 1 107.5Chart 7 Note 1
1984 90.5 101.4 107.7 111.2
86.6Chart 7 Note 1 97.7Chart 7 Note 1 106.6Chart 7 Note 1 112.5Chart 7 Note 1
1986 82.6 94.1 105.5 113.8
1987 83.9 95.1 104.1 114.6
1988 87.6 97.1 107.7 114.9
1989 84.7 94.7 105.5 113.2
1990 84.2 94.0 104.0 113.4
83.4Chart 7 Note 1 93.2Chart 7 Note 1 103.4Chart 7 Note 1 113.7Chart 7 Note 1
82.5Chart 7 Note 1 92.4Chart 7 Note 1 102.9Chart 7 Note 1 114.0Chart 7 Note 1
81.7Chart 7 Note 1 91.5Chart 7 Note 1 102.3Chart 7 Note 1 114.2Chart 7 Note 1
80.9Chart 7 Note 1 90.7Chart 7 Note 1 101.8Chart 7 Note 1 114.5Chart 7 Note 1
80.1Chart 7 Note 1 89.9Chart 7 Note 1 101.2Chart 7 Note 1 114.8Chart 7 Note 1
79.3Chart 7 Note 1 89.1Chart 7 Note 1 100.7Chart 7 Note 1 115.1Chart 7 Note 1
1997 78.4 88.3 100.1 115.4
1998 77.8 89.5 99.0 114.3
1999 79.3 89.0 98.9 114.9
2000 78.0 92.3 98.2 114.4
2001 83.2 92.4 99.4 114.3
2002 81.6 91.7 97.4 114.0
2003 79.8 90.0 95.0 111.2
2004 78.0 90.3 96.7 111.1
2005 82.3 90.4 96.2 110.2
2006 81.9 94.0 98.5 109.5
2007 87.0 94.2 100.5 111.3
2008 87.6 94.2 102.5 110.9
2009 91.3 97.6 107.0 113.9
2010 89.1 98.5 104.5 113.6
2011 87.8 97.9 101.4 112.0
2012 88.3 98.1 103.3 112.0
2013 90.4 102.5 105.9 114.9
2014 88.8 100.9 104.4 113.3
Median real hourly wages of women in full-time jobs, 1981 to 2014 (1981=100)
  17-24 25-34 35-44 45-54
1981 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
97.5Chart 7 Note 1 100.8Chart 7 Note 1 101.2Chart 7 Note 1 101.5Chart 7 Note 1
94.9Chart 7 Note 1 101.6Chart 7 Note 1 102.3Chart 7 Note 1 103.0Chart 7 Note 1
1984 92.4 102.4 103.5 104.5
87.6Chart 7 Note 1 101.6Chart 7 Note 1 104.5Chart 7 Note 1 105.6Chart 7 Note 1
1986 82.7 100.9 105.4 106.7
1987 85.2 99.6 104.6 106.4
1988 92.4 99.2 106.6 104.8
1989 85.6 99.9 106.2 105.7
1990 88.6 99.5 104.9 106.8
87.7Chart 7 Note 1 99.6Chart 7 Note 1 106.0Chart 7 Note 1 109.1Chart 7 Note 1
86.7Chart 7 Note 1 99.7Chart 7 Note 1 107.1Chart 7 Note 1 111.4Chart 7 Note 1
85.7Chart 7 Note 1 99.8Chart 7 Note 1 108.2Chart 7 Note 1 113.7Chart 7 Note 1
84.8Chart 7 Note 1 99.9Chart 7 Note 1 109.3Chart 7 Note 1 116.0Chart 7 Note 1
83.8Chart 7 Note 1 100.0Chart 7 Note 1 110.4Chart 7 Note 1 118.3Chart 7 Note 1
82.8Chart 7 Note 1 100.1Chart 7 Note 1 111.5Chart 7 Note 1 120.6Chart 7 Note 1
1997 81.9 100.2 112.6 122.9
1998 81.2 101.9 111.0 120.2
1999 84.7 101.9 110.6 122.6
2000 83.2 103.1 110.2 122.9
2001 85.3 104.1 111.3 121.3
2002 88.0 104.6 110.6 123.1
2003 85.6 106.0 112.8 119.7
2004 84.1 105.6 112.5 123.8
2005 82.7 105.2 113.5 124.6
2006 88.3 106.4 114.4 123.7
2007 87.6 107.9 113.5 127.4
2008 93.1 110.7 120.3 126.0
2009 97.7 114.8 123.7 128.9
2010 92.7 112.3 124.7 130.1
2011 95.2 110.6 122.9 129.4
2012 93.8 112.8 125.1 129.5
2013 96.0 116.3 127.9 132.3
2014 94.3 115.8 128.9 132.2

The wage ratio for bachelor's degree holders increased from 1980 to 2000 and fell afterwards

Two line graphes for Chart 08
Description for Chart 8
Experience-adjusted difference in log weekly wages between bachelor's degree holders and high school graduates (BA/HS wage ratio) aged 20 to 34 employed full-time, 1980 to 2012 — Men
  Census LFS
1980 0.295 not applicable ...
1981 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1982 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1983 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1984 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1985 0.367 not applicable ...
1986 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1987 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1988 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1989 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1990 0.374 not applicable ...
1991 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1992 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1993 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1994 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1995 0.396 not applicable ...
1996 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1997 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1998 not applicable ... 0.380
1999 not applicable ... 0.397
2000 0.460 0.401
2001 not applicable ... 0.402
2002 not applicable ... 0.402
2003 not applicable ... 0.380
2004 not applicable ... 0.374
2005 not applicable ... 0.357
2006 not applicable ... 0.328
2007 not applicable ... 0.331
2008 not applicable ... 0.340
2009 not applicable ... 0.325
2010 not applicable ... 0.322
2011 not applicable ... 0.325
2012 not applicable ... 0.297
Experience-adjusted difference in log weekly wages between bachelor's degree holders and high school graduates (BA/HS wage ratio) aged 20 to 34 employed full-time, 1980 to 2012 — Women
  Census LFS
1980 0.411 not applicable ...
1981 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1982 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1983 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1984 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1985 0.454 not applicable ...
1986 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1987 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1988 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1989 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1990 0.455 not applicable ...
1991 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1992 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1993 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1994 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1995 0.463 not applicable ...
1996 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1997 not applicable ... not applicable ...
1998 not applicable ... 0.481
1999 not applicable ... 0.499
2000 0.512 0.496
2001 not applicable ... 0.496
2002 not applicable ... 0.511
2003 not applicable ... 0.507
2004 not applicable ... 0.501
2005 not applicable ... 0.478
2006 not applicable ... 0.460
2007 not applicable ... 0.462
2008 not applicable ... 0.465
2009 not applicable ... 0.465
2010 not applicable ... 0.441
2011 not applicable ... 0.435
2012 not applicable ... 0.428

Part of the narrowing of the wage ratio for young women was associated with increased real minimum wages

A scatterplot of Chart 09
Description for Chart 9
Changes in real minimum wagesTable 9 Note 1 and changes in the BA/HS wage ratioTable 9 Note 1, by province, women aged 20 to 34, 1997 to 2012
Year Changes in the BA/high school wage ratio, 1997 to 2012 Changes in log real minimum wages, 1997 to 2012
1997 0.107983 -0.12325
1998 -0.06202 -0.11344
1999 0.076818 -0.11556
2000 0.061507 -0.11029
2001 0.0204 -0.12161
2002 0.108528 -0.1077
2003 -0.00411 -0.08645
2004 -0.01494 -0.10475
2005 -0.01875 -0.1071
2006 0.085561 -0.04639
2007 -0.00651 0.008723
2008 0.009343 0.08041
2009 -0.03303 0.18315
2010 -0.1402 0.267224
2011 -0.14378 0.259038
2012 -0.0468 0.237994
1997 -0.01018 -0.06716
1998 0.039782 -0.06378
1999 0.061938 -0.07764
2000 0.041232 -0.07934
2001 0.022117 -0.08001
2002 0.013552 -0.08672
2003 -0.03057 -0.09425
2004 0.009554 -0.0673
2005 -0.04141 -0.06817
2006 0.054174 -0.03288
2007 0.04393 0.009235
2008 0.018324 0.044186
2009 -0.01433 0.101369
2010 -0.03243 0.152561
2011 -0.07217 0.189473
2012 -0.10353 0.220412
1997 -0.02231 0.00359
1998 0.066198 0.004135
1999 -0.00839 -2.2E-05
2000 0.026813 -0.02432
2001 0.059778 -0.03383
2002 0.077146 -0.04572
2003 0.036174 -0.03671
2004 0.008971 -0.04129
2005 -0.05911 -0.04393
2006 -0.01219 -0.04095
2007 -0.06443 -0.02872
2008 0.048024 0.001952
2009 -0.02567 0.015562
2010 -0.01177 0.0788
2011 -0.08596 0.094957
2012 -0.03327 0.096513
1997 -0.00368 0.022715
1998 0.014005 0.013846
1999 0.024666 -0.00583
2000 -0.01218 -0.03463
2001 0.001991 -0.06467
2002 0.018156 -0.08487
2003 0.002682 -0.11151
2004 0.027927 -0.09048
2005 -0.03155 -0.07099
2006 -0.0054 -0.049
2007 0.004974 -0.03484
2008 0.023945 0.013405
2009 -0.00838 0.093846
2010 -0.05616 0.146976
2011 0.014975 0.135005
2012 -0.01597 0.121024
1997 -0.02443 -0.14209
1998 0.044158 -0.15524
1999 -0.00181 -0.09462
2000 0.019131 -0.09358
2001 -0.00712 -0.08956
2002 0.024355 -0.06506
2003 -0.03385 -0.0448
2004 0.057752 -0.02756
2005 0.020159 -0.01877
2006 0.01256 0.005945
2007 0.023357 0.036203
2008 -0.00441 0.072298
2009 -0.02971 0.107563
2010 -0.02765 0.144055
2011 -0.05767 0.168264
2012 -0.01482 0.196947
1997 0.021893 -0.07816
1998 0.043491 -0.09152
1999 0.04953 -0.04007
2000 -0.00846 -0.06582
2001 0.057646 -0.09505
2002 0.042983 -0.07731
2003 -0.02198 -0.04333
2004 0.053259 -0.06557
2005 0.040051 -0.06747
2006 0.008595 0.008142
2007 -0.00464 0.034426
2008 -0.00974 0.075334
2009 -0.04455 0.127851
2010 -0.06891 0.137982
2011 -0.08406 0.119529
2012 -0.07511 0.121042
1997 0.007965 -0.10273
1998 -0.01604 -0.09533
1999 0.098536 -0.01728
2000 0.01824 -0.00734
2001 0.094768 -0.03035
2002 0.10388 -0.06391
2003 0.073065 -0.10697
2004 0.014249 -0.12124
2005 0.00887 -0.08151
2006 -0.00759 -0.00896
2007 -0.03542 -0.0111
2008 -0.08009 0.081825
2009 -0.0713 0.129715
2010 -0.05141 0.131316
2011 -0.06353 0.129633
2012 -0.09419 0.174234
1997 -0.01178 -0.00424
1998 -0.03932 0.008486
1999 0.000445 0.003094
2000 0.02445 -0.00432
2001 0.015748 0.038504
2002 -0.01585 0.057795
2003 0.030555 0.036033
2004 0.059495 0.016653
2005 -0.01995 -0.0033
2006 -0.0048 -0.02009
2007 -0.02677 -0.03752
2008 0.015928 -0.05821
2009 0.038129 -0.05821
2010 -0.01054 -0.07148
2011 -0.00319 -0.0197
2012 -0.05257 0.116503

Like older men, young men have experienced a decline in pension coverage

A line graph of Chart 10
Description for Chart 10
Percentage of employees with a registered pension plan (RPP) or a deferred profit-sharing plan, by sex and age group, 1991 to 2013
Year Men Women
25 to 34 35 to 54 25 to 34 35 to 54
1991 38.2 55.9 35.8 44.3
1992 37.8 56.0 36.7 45.9
1993 36.6 55.3 36.8 46.8
1994 34.6 53.8 35.4 46.5
1995 34.2 53.6 35.1 47.1
1996 33.3 52.7 33.9 46.9
1997 32.9 51.7 33.8 47.0
1998 32.9 50.8 33.9 46.5
1999 32.8 50.0 33.6 46.0
2000 33.3 49.8 34.6 46.5
2001 33.5 49.2 35.0 46.8
2002 33.0 47.8 35.2 46.4
2003 33.9 48.3 36.7 47.5
2004 33.5 47.5 36.8 47.4
2005 33.4 46.9 37.0 47.2
2006 34.1 47.2 37.9 47.9
2007 34.1 45.9 38.2 47.1
2008 34.3 45.6 38.5 47.3
2009 34.5 45.5 39.2 47.9
2010 34.4 45.1 39.1 47.9
2011 34.5 45.2 39.0 48.2
2012 34.6 45.3 38.6 48.3
2013 34.6 45.3 38.4 48.5

Young individuals have lower net wealth than their counterparts had in the early 1980s

A histogram graph of Chart 11
Description for Chart 11
Median net worth of family units, by age of major income recipient, 1984 to 2012 (excluding employer-sponsored pension plans)
  1984 1999 2005 2012
25 to 34 30,656 19,781 16,492 22,700
35 to 44 96,296 78,601 103,131 121,300
45 to 54 162,467 150,913 159,347 232,100
55 to 64 169,155 201,892 237,144 287,378

II. The oil boom of the 2000s

In terms of employment, youth in oil-producing provinces generally fared better than those in non-oil-producing provinces

Two line graphes for Chart 12
Description for Chart 12
Percentage of men employed full time in their main job, 1976 to 2014 (full-time students excluded) - Oil-producing provinces
  17 to 24 25 to 29 30 to 54
1976 81.4 89.9 90.5
1977 80.6 89.2 90.3
1978 81.3 89.6 90.0
1979 83.5 90.6 90.6
1980 82.6 89.8 91.0
1981 82.6 90.3 91.3
1982 72.8 85.2 87.6
1983 67.3 80.7 84.2
1984 66.6 79.3 83.1
1985 69.0 82.6 84.5
1986 68.1 81.0 84.3
1987 68.5 83.0 84.3
1988 68.6 84.0 85.8
1989 71.5 82.9 85.7
1990 70.4 83.0 85.6
1991 68.2 80.3 83.7
1992 62.6 76.7 82.0
1993 61.7 76.4 81.6
1994 65.2 79.4 82.7
1995 66.5 79.6 83.1
1996 66.6 81.0 83.3
1997 70.7 83.8 85.0
1998 71.0 83.8 84.8
1999 68.7 83.0 85.3
2000 71.6 85.9 85.5
2001 72.2 85.4 85.3
2002 70.5 84.4 85.4
2003 70.7 85.5 85.9
2004 71.3 84.3 86.1
2005 73.8 87.1 86.6
2006 76.1 87.8 87.8
2007 77.8 88.6 88.4
2008 77.2 88.6 88.4
2009 70.3 84.3 84.6
2010 70.8 85.2 84.3
2011 71.3 86.5 86.0
2012 74.2 87.1 87.4
2013 73.6 87.2 87.0
2014 72.5 85.6 87.5
Percentage of men employed full time in their main job, 1976 to 2014 (full-time students excluded) - Other provinces
  17 to 24 25 to 29 30 to 54
1976 75.9 88.9 90.0
1977 74.3 87.2 88.9
1978 74.4 87.8 88.7
1979 75.9 87.6 89.5
1980 75.1 87.1 88.7
1981 73.8 86.2 88.6
1982 62.9 80.0 84.4
1983 61.5 78.0 83.5
1984 64.5 79.4 83.8
1985 67.0 81.1 84.4
1986 69.0 81.8 85.7
1987 72.3 83.6 86.4
1988 74.2 85.1 86.8
1989 74.6 85.3 86.6
1990 70.5 82.8 85.3
1991 61.5 77.5 82.5
1992 58.3 75.8 80.5
1993 56.8 75.2 80.1
1994 59.0 76.8 80.7
1995 60.3 78.2 81.1
1996 59.8 78.0 80.4
1997 60.5 78.6 81.1
1998 60.5 80.6 81.8
1999 64.1 82.4 82.5
2000 65.0 83.3 83.2
2001 64.1 81.4 82.6
2002 63.3 80.9 82.3
2003 62.7 81.6 82.6
2004 63.1 80.6 83.6
2005 63.1 81.7 83.3
2006 64.1 82.1 83.2
2007 65.2 81.6 83.2
2008 62.9 82.0 83.1
2009 57.2 77.7 80.2
2010 56.3 78.1 80.5
2011 57.0 77.8 81.4
2012 56.7 78.7 81.6
2013 56.7 77.6 81.7
2014 56.2 77.2 81.5

Real wages for youth showed more variability in oil-producing provinces than in other provinces

Two line graphes for Chart 13
Description for Chart 13
Median real hourly wages of men and women in full-time jobs 1981 to 2014 (1981 = 100.0) — Men
  17-24 other 25-34 other 17-24 oil 25-34 oil
1981 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
96.8Chart 13a Note 1 100.3Chart 13a Note 1 97.1Chart 13a Note 1 101.8Chart 13a Note 1
93.7Chart 13a Note 1 100.6Chart 13a Note 1 94.2Chart 13a Note 1 103.6Chart 13a Note 1
1984 90.5 100.9 91.3 105.5
87.5Chart 13a Note 1 96.8Chart 13a Note 1 82.0Chart 13a Note 1 100.7Chart 13a Note 1
1986 84.5 92.8 72.7 96.0
1987 86.0 94.8 74.9 95.4
1988 89.6 97.5 77.7 96.6
1989 88.2 95.2 72.6 91.7
1990 86.1 94.7 75.0 89.4
85.3Chart 13a Note 1 93.9Chart 13a Note 1 73.8Chart 13a Note 1 88.5Chart 13a Note 1
84.4Chart 13a Note 1 93.1Chart 13a Note 1 72.6Chart 13a Note 1 87.5Chart 13a Note 1
83.6Chart 13a Note 1 92.3Chart 13a Note 1 71.5Chart 13a Note 1 86.6Chart 13a Note 1
82.7Chart 13a Note 1 91.4Chart 13a Note 1 70.3Chart 13a Note 1 85.7Chart 13a Note 1
81.9Chart 13a Note 1 90.6Chart 13a Note 1 69.1Chart 13a Note 1 84.7Chart 13a Note 1
81.0Chart 13a Note 1 89.8Chart 13a Note 1 67.9Chart 13a Note 1 83.8Chart 13a Note 1
1997 80.2 89.0 66.8 82.8
1998 79.5 90.4 68.5 84.5
1999 81.1 88.9 68.8 88.6
2000 79.7 93.6 70.0 86.5
2001 85.3 92.7 72.2 89.0
2002 83.4 92.4 72.8 87.6
2003 81.6 91.2 73.1 83.7
2004 79.7 91.0 75.0 86.0
2005 81.5 90.2 79.6 92.2
2006 83.6 93.6 82.5 94.6
2007 84.1 94.2 87.0 92.3
2008 85.4 94.0 92.5 99.9
2009 86.9 94.9 92.6 100.1
2010 86.7 97.4 89.0 101.1
2011 86.7 96.0 89.5 102.5
2012 87.1 96.2 91.1 108.0
2013 90.6 99.6 89.7 111.4
2014 90.3 99.4 96.3 107.2
Median real hourly wages of men and women in full-time jobs 1981 to 2014 (1981 = 100.0) — Women
  17-24 other 25-34 other 17-24 oil 25-34 oil
1981 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
97.5Chart 13b Note 1 100.1Chart 13b Note 1 98.6Chart 13b Note 1 103.0Chart 13b Note 1
94.9Chart 13b Note 1 100.3Chart 13b Note 1 97.2Chart 13b Note 1 106.0Chart 13b Note 1
1984 92.4 100.4 95.8 109.0
88.0Chart 13b Note 1 100.2Chart 13b Note 1 91.2Chart 13b Note 1 105.9Chart 13b Note 1
1986 83.7 100.0 86.7 102.9
1987 86.4 99.2 81.4 99.1
1988 93.6 98.0 88.7 102.2
1989 86.8 99.7 84.4 99.1
1990 91.0 100.1 77.5 92.8
90.3Chart 13b Note 1 100.3Chart 13b Note 1 76.5Chart 13b Note 1 92.9Chart 13b Note 1
89.6Chart 13b Note 1 100.4Chart 13b Note 1 75.5Chart 13b Note 1 93.1Chart 13b Note 1
88.9Chart 13b Note 1 100.5Chart 13b Note 1 74.5Chart 13b Note 1 93.3Chart 13b Note 1
88.2Chart 13b Note 1 100.7Chart 13b Note 1 73.6Chart 13b Note 1 93.4Chart 13b Note 1
87.5Chart 13b Note 1 100.8Chart 13b Note 1 72.6Chart 13b Note 1 93.6Chart 13b Note 1
86.8Chart 13b Note 1 100.9Chart 13b Note 1 71.6Chart 13b Note 1 93.8Chart 13b Note 1
1997 86.1 101.1 70.7 93.9
1998 83.1 103.4 74.4 90.8
1999 86.7 103.1 77.2 91.7
2000 85.3 104.8 74.7 92.2
2001 91.5 104.1 76.9 98.9
2002 90.1 107.5 83.0 92.8
2003 87.7 107.6 78.8 96.0
2004 86.2 106.4 74.5 95.9
2005 84.7 106.1 80.6 99.2
2006 87.5 107.0 88.5 103.3
2007 89.4 108.6 88.2 102.3
2008 90.5 110.8 95.6 108.6
2009 97.7 115.0 101.8 111.0
2010 92.8 112.8 100.8 109.3
2011 95.2 110.7 95.2 106.6
2012 91.8 112.8 98.0 110.9
2013 95.2 116.4 103.0 114.3
2014 93.0 114.4 103.2 118.8

The decline in the wage ratio for bachelor's degree holders was concentrated in the two largest oil-producing provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan

A bar graph of Chart 14
Description for Chart 14
Decline in the BA/HS wage ratio for men aged 20 to 34, by province, 2000-2002 to 2010-2012
  Wage ratio
NFLD -0.047
OAP -0.050
QC -0.085
ON -0.034
MAN -0.090
SASK -0.196
ALTA -0.150
BC -0.060
All provinces -0.077

The strong wage growth observed in oil-producing provinces from the early 2000s to 2008 reduced university enrollment in these provinces but brought into the labour market some young men who were neither enrolled in school nor employed

Two line graphes for Chart 15
Description for Chart 15
Percentage of men 17 to 24 - Enrolled in university, 1998 to 2008
  Oil-producing provinces Other provinces
1998 15.2 15.2
1999 14.0 14.6
2000 13.5 14.4
2001 13.3 14.7
2002 13.8 14.6
2003 15.2 15.2
2004 14.7 16.9
2005 14.2 17.7
2006 15.2 18.5
2007 14.6 19.1
2008 13.4 18.9
Percentage of men 17 to 24 - Neither enrolled in school nor employed, 1998 to 2008
  Oil-producing provinces Other provinces
1998 10.0 11.6
1999 10.8 11.4
2000 10.7 11.2
2001 10.4 11.3
2002 10.6 11.2
2003 10.6 11.3
2004 10.4 11.3
2005 10.0 11.0
2006 8.7 10.5
2007 7.9 10.3
2008 7.9 10.5

The oil boom has encouraged interprovincial employment

A line graph of Chart 16
Description for Chart 16
Oil prices and the number of interprovincial employees in Canada, 2002 to 2011
  Oil price index Number of inter-provincial employees
2002 51 343,788
2003 56 339,682
2004 68 344,946
2005 89 374,954
2006 94 411,645
2007 99 431,545
2008 132 445,289
2009 85 393,682
2010 100 399,623
2011 126 420,526
2012 122 Not applicable ...
2013 127 Not applicable ...
2014 127 Not applicable ...

As a result, a growing proportion of young men started a job in Alberta while maintaining residence in their home province

A line graph of Chart 17
Description for Chart 17
Transitions into interprovincial employment
Percentage of young men starting a job in Alberta while maintaining residence in their home province
  17 to 34 17 to 24 25 to 34
2001-2002 0.54 0.74 0.25
2002-2003 0.55 0.71 0.31
2003-2004 0.58 0.79 0.25
2004-2005 0.75 0.93 0.49
2005-2006 1.06 1.35 0.64
2006-2007 0.92 1.16 0.57
2007-2008 0.92 1.12 0.62
2008-2009 0.44 0.54 0.28

The oil boom also increased interprovincial mobility:

  • All else equal, a 5% increase in real annual wages in Alberta relative to those in other provinces increased the propensity of young men to move to Alberta by 0.35 percentage points, from a baseline rate of about 0.65%.
  • The estimated increase in the migration of young men to Alberta caused by changes in the regional earnings structure from 2001 to 2008 represents 12% to 24% of the job vacancies observed in Alberta during this period.

III. Education

Higher education generally remains associated with higher earnings and registered pension plan coverage

Two histogram bar graphs for Chart 18
Description for Chart 18
Median annual wages and salaries, 2012
(2012 dollars)
  Men 25 to 34 years Women 25 to 34 years
High school graduates 39,230 23,546
College graduates 50,842 33,936
Bachelor's degree holders 62,626 48,350
Percentage of employees with a registered pension plan, 2012
  Men 25 to 34 years Women 25 to 34 years
High school or less 14.9 21.7
College graduates 23.6 32.6
Bachelor's degree holders 31.4 39.7

However, young men are no longer the most highly educated individuals

A histogram bar graph of Chart 19
Description for Chart 19
Percentage of individuals with a university degree, by age group, 1976 and 2014
  Men 25 to 34 years Women 25 to 34 years Men 35 to 54 years Women 35 to 54 years
1976 18.0 10.5 11.1 4.8
2014 28.0 38.4 27.3 31.0

In some fields of study, young female bachelor's degree holders now exceed their male counterparts

A bar graph of Chart 20
Description for Chart 20
Number of female bachelor's degree holders per male bachelor's degree holder, by field of studyTable 20 Note 1, Canadian-born individuals aged 20 to 34
  1986 2006
Fine Arts 2.00 2.14
Humanities 1.45 1.81
Social Sciences 1.07 1.87
Business 0.52 1.01
Life Sciences 1.20 1.84
Engineering 0.11 0.33
Math, Computer Sciences 0.44 0.56

Full-time students are more involved in the labour market today than their counterparts were in the mid-1970s

Two line graphs for Chart 21
Description for Chart 21
Percentage of full-time students working 15 hours or more per week, 1976 to 2014 - College students
  men women
1976 15.1 10.1
1977 15.5 11.3
1978 13.1 9.8
1979 14.8 11.1
1980 15.6 11.9
1981 18.2 13.1
1982 15.9 10.8
1983 14.2 11.5
1984 16.8 13.3
1985 17.7 14.4
1986 20.3 18.0
1987 21.1 20.0
1988 23.4 20.1
1989 24.4 22.3
1990 25.0 21.8
1991 25.2 19.9
1992 21.2 19.4
1993 20.7 20.8
1994 22.8 22.0
1995 22.7 22.5
1996 24.0 22.3
1997 23.9 22.6
1998 26.7 25.6
1999 27.2 26.0
2000 29.4 28.0
2001 30.3 27.9
2002 29.9 30.7
2003 32.2 31.8
2004 32.1 32.2
2005 30.5 34.7
2006 31.8 34.1
2007 31.7 37.2
2008 32.1 35.2
2009 28.4 32.8
2010 28.9 31.9
2011 27.9 33.5
2012 26.9 32.2
2013 30.7 31.0
2014 28.2 33.2
Percentage of full-time students working 15 hours or more per week, 1976 to 2014 - University students
  men women
1976 11.1 10.6
1977 9.6 10.2
1978 10.6 9.9
1979 11.6 10.9
1980 10.9 11.9
1981 10.9 10.0
1982 10.0 9.0
1983 11.7 10.4
1984 11.8 12.5
1985 13.3 13.8
1986 15.6 14.5
1987 15.4 14.1
1988 17.2 15.6
1989 19.8 19.0
1990 18.7 18.2
1991 18.3 19.0
1992 16.0 19.3
1993 17.4 18.4
1994 17.1 20.3
1995 18.5 20.9
1996 18.0 22.0
1997 19.0 19.6
1998 17.7 22.3
1999 19.4 22.8
2000 20.3 25.7
2001 22.4 25.0
2002 21.0 23.4
2003 19.4 25.5
2004 21.4 27.4
2005 20.8 26.3
2006 23.5 26.6
2007 22.7 25.9
2008 23.5 25.6
2009 20.3 25.3
2010 22.1 26.2
2011 21.2 23.4
2012 20.0 23.6
2013 19.6 23.8
2014 20.9 24.6

Graduates in architecture, engineering, and related technologies generally hold jobs that require a diverse set of skills

A bar graph of Chart 22
Description for Chart 22
Percentage of employees whose jobs require skill use of at least 4 on a scale of 0 to 7, by field of study, male bachelor's degree holders aged 25 to 34
  Humanities Mathematics, Computer and Information Sciences Architecture, Engineering and Related Technologies
Writing 27.4 10.6 56.3
Mathematics 1.8 2.4 33.7
Complex Problem Solving 8.8 13.0 47.6

Private high school students attend university more often than public high school students mainly because of differences in socioeconomic characteristics and in peers

I. Percentage of youth attending university, by type of high school attended

  • Public high school
    45.6
  • Private high school
    63.4
  • Difference
    17.8

II. Reasons behind the difference in university attendance (proportion)

II. Reasons behind the difference in university attendance (proportion)
  Proportion
Socioeconomic characteristics 0.547
Peers 0.364
Province of high school attendance -0.009
High school resources and practices 0.123
Unobserved factors -0.025
Total 1.000

Note: University attendance at age 23, measured in 2008.
Sources: Economics Insights, 11-626-X, no. 44, March 2015; Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series, 11F019M, no. 367, March 2015; Youth in Transition Survey (YITS), Cohort A; Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

IV. Young Aboriginal people

The employment rates of young Aboriginal people display substantial variation

Two bar graphs for Chart 23
Description for Chart 23
Percentage of individuals aged 25 to 34 who are employed, May 2011 — Women
  25-34
First Nations single identity : R 37.7
First Nations single identity 57.9
Métis single identity: R 41.2
Métis single identity 70.4
Inuk (Inuit) single identity 55.6
Multiple aboriginal identities 62.4
Non-Aboriginal identity 79.6
Percentage of individuals aged 25 to 34 who are employed, May 2011 — Men
  25-34
First Nations single identity : R 40.7
First Nations single identity 67.8
Métis single identity: R 53.4
Métis single identity 81.0
Inuk (Inuit) single identity 54.2
Multiple aboriginal identities 75.9
Non-Aboriginal identity 85.5

Participation in extracurricular activities is associated with a greater likelihood for young First Nations people of completing high school by age 18

Two bar graphs for Chart 24
Description for Chart 24
Probability of completing high school by age 18, off-reserve First Nations people aged 18 to 24, by participation in extracurricular activities, 2012 — Participation in sports — Men
  Percentage
Less than once a week 55.0
Every week 68.1
Probability of completing high school by age 18, off-reserve First Nations people aged 18 to 24, by participation in extracurricular activities, 2012 — Participation in club activities — Women
  Percentage
Less than once a week 58.4
Every week 76.8

V. Young immigrants

Compared with the early 1980s, proportionately fewer young immigrants have employment income two years after landing

A line graph of Chart 25
Description for Chart 25
Percentage of young immigrant men and women with employment income two years after landing, 1980 to 2011
  Immigrant men 25 to 34 years Immigrant women 25 to 34 years
1980 91.7 71.2
1981 89.8 68.0
1982 89.8 69.0
1983 87.8 71.0
1984 87.8 73.7
1985 87.7 73.7
1986 88.5 74.8
1987 89.1 77.6
1988 87.8 76.3
1989 83.4 72.6
1990 80.0 67.2
1991 76.2 62.8
1992 75.0 60.7
1993 77.0 61.3
1994 78.3 59.4
1995 78.7 58.0
1996 78.2 57.8
1997 79.2 59.4
1998 82.1 62.7
1999 81.8 62.9
2000 80.7 62.1
2001 80.3 62.6
2002 80.3 62.6
2003 81.6 62.8
2004 81.4 63.7
2005 81.7 63.9
2006 82.2 64.9
2007 81.9 63.7
2008 82.2 63.5
2009 83.9 64.1
2010 85.4 65.3
2011 85.3 64.4

Among young immigrants who have employment income, entry earnings have stabilized recently

Two line graphs for Chart 26
Description for Chart 26
Earnings of young immigrant men two years after landing, 1980 to 2011 (2013 dollars)
Men aged 25 to 34
  Average earnings Median earnings
1980 42,000 36,000
1981 41,000 35,000
1982 39,000 33,000
1983 33,000 28,000
1984 33,000 28,000
1985 32,000 29,000
1986 35,000 31,000
1987 39,000 36,000
1988 39,000 35,000
1989 32,000 28,000
1990 28,000 24,000
1991 26,000 23,000
1992 28,000 24,000
1993 29,000 25,000
1994 31,000 26,000
1995 33,000 27,000
1996 34,000 28,000
1997 37,000 31,000
1998 40,000 32,000
1999 41,000 33,000
2000 37,000 31,000
2001 33,000 28,000
2002 33,000 28,000
2003 33,000 28,000
2004 35,000 30,000
2005 37,000 31,000
2006 38,000 32,000
2007 37,000 32,000
2008 37,000 31,000
2009 37,000 31,000
2010 38,000 32,000
2011 39,000 33,000
Earnings of young immigrant women two years after landing, 1980 to 2011 (2013 dollars)
Women aged 25 to 34
  Average earnings Median earnings
1980 21,000 19,300
1981 21,000 18,000
1982 21,000 17,700
1983 19,800 17,200
1984 20,000 18,300
1985 21,000 18,600
1986 22,000 19,900
1987 24,000 22,000
1988 26,000 23,000
1989 23,000 20,000
1990 21,000 18,200
1991 19,900 17,300
1992 20,000 17,600
1993 19,700 17,300
1994 19,900 16,900
1995 20,000 17,000
1996 22,000 17,700
1997 22,000 17,700
1998 24,000 18,500
1999 24,000 18,400
2000 23,000 17,300
2001 21,000 16,300
2002 21,000 16,100
2003 21,000 16,200
2004 22,000 17,500
2005 23,000 18,100
2006 24,000 18,800
2007 24,000 18,900
2008 24,000 19,100
2009 24,000 19,500
2010 25,000 19,900
2011 25,000 20,000

The superior educational outcomes of the children of immigrants remain evident in 2011

A bar graph of Chart 27
Description for Chart 27
Percentage of individuals aged 25 to 34 with a university degree, by generation status, 2001 and 2011
  2001 2011
1.5 generation 31.0 39.0
Second generation 32.5 40.9
Third or higher generation 20.6 25.5

However, evidence of labour-market advantages for the children of immigrants (over the higher generations) is no longer seen in 2011

A bar graph of Chart 28
Description for Chart 28
Percentage of individuals aged 25 to 34 who are employed, by generation status, 2001 and 2011
  2001 2011
1.5 generation 81.5 78.5
Second generation 81.2 80.1
Third or higher generation 80.2 81.0

Young immigrant wives participate less in the Canadian labour market than their Canadian-born counterparts

A bar graph of Chart 29
Description for Chart 29
Labour force participation rates of immigrant and Canadian-born wives, 2010 to 2014
  Immigrant wives Canadian-born wives
25 to 34 65.6 87.2
35 to 44 77.9 88.6
45 to 54 84.3 87.6

Large regional differences in the educational outcomes of young immigrants who came to Canada before the age of 15

Large regional difference in the educational outcomes among childhood immigrants
  PISA math score, age 15 PISA reading score, age 15 University completion, age 25 to 29, %
Third-or-higher generation Childhood immigrants Third-or-higher generation Childhood immigrants Third-or-higher generation Childhood immigrants
Canada 529 530 532 517 25.7 39.9
Atlantic 505 531 508 508 26.1 37.8
Quebec 545 508 536 485 24.8 32.0
Ontario 526 532 536 523 28.1 40.9
Manitoba and Saskatchewan 514 494 522 477 22.0 29.3
Alberta 536 527 540 527 21.4 34.9
British Columbia 526 554 534 523 20.9 43.5

Summary

  • Youth unemployment today is similar to that of the mid-1970s.
  • However, job quality appears to have deteriorated for many young people.
    1. Full-time employment rates and the percentage of full-time jobs that are permanent have fallen for men under 35, for older men, and for women under 25.
    2. Wages have fallen for men and women under 25.
    3. Pension coverage has fallen for men aged 25 to 34, as well as for older men.
  • The degree to which globalization, technological changes, de-unionization and labour supply shifts underlie these changes is difficult to quantify.
  • A substantial gender difference in university attendance has emerged.
  • Trends have varied by region, and new patterns are emerging for young immigrants.
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