Unemployment rates, by age

Unemployment tends to decline with age

  • In 2007, adults aged 25 to 54 had the lowest unemployment rate in over 30 years, at 5.1%. After levelling off in 2006, the unemployment rate for the 55-and-over age group, which continued to have a lower rate that the other two age groups, resumed its decline, falling to 4.8% in 2007. The unemployment rate for youth, despite dropping to its lowest level since 1989, remained the highest of all age groups at 11.2%.

  • On average, each month, 326,000 young people aged 15 to 24 looked for work in 2007. Just over half were teenagers (aged 15 to 19), a group with unemployment rates consistently higher than those of 20- to 24-year-olds: in 2007, the unemployment rate for teenaged youth was 14.8%, well above the 8.7% rate for people aged 20 to 24.

  • Although young people have always had higher unemployment rates than adults, they now account for a smaller proportion of unemployed people than they did three decades ago. The aging of the population in recent decades has altered the face of unemployment. Almost half of all unemployed people were 15 to 24 years old in 1976, compared with approximately one-third in 2007.

Chart B.5
Unemployment rates, by age, 1976 to 2007

Chart B.5 Unemployment rates, by age, 1976 to 2007

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0002.

Date modified: