July’s LMI Snapshot: Youth Employment

It's become a bit tougher for youth to break through that glass ceiling to employment

According to the latest statistics*, the youth (15-24 years) labour market in B.C continues to experience challenges since the economic downturn. See it as a call for increased creativity in pursuing potential employers and perhaps as a call for self-employment and further education.

The Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector and Accommodation/Food and Beverage sectors were the only areas where employment increased over the last month. It’s worth noting that the Vancouver Island/Coastal area was the only B.C. region that showed increased unemployment (8.0%) compared to July last year (5.9%). 

The Accommodation/Food and Beverage sectors showed an increase of 8,100 jobs and actually fared well compared to the last couple of years (July 2010 showed an increase in 4,000 jobs while July 2009 showed a loss of 6,700 jobs in this sector, probably as a direct result of the economic downturn). It’s not known how the unusually cool/wet weather may have prevented an even rosier recovery in the employment  picture for this sector.

B.C. Youth Employment Statistics

  • The number of unemployed youth (aged 15 to 24) in B.C. increased by 3,800 from the last month, bringing youth unemployment up to 51,500
  • The unemployment rate for B.C. youth increased by 0.9 pct points to 13.8% from the last month
  • The 2010 youth unemployment rate in B.C. was 13.8% (or 51,800 unemployed youth), up 0.5 percentage points from 13.3% in 2009, and up 5.3 percentage points from 8.5% in 2008. Aboriginal off-reserve youth also continued to experience difficulty in 2010, with the unemployment rate at 21.4%, a moderate decrease from 24.8% in 2009, but still significantly higher than the rate of 12.5% in 2008. 
  • The unemployment rate for the prime working age group increased only by 2.9 percentage points between 2008 and 2010, increasing the gap in unemployment rate between youth and prime age workers to 7.0 percentage points by 2010

 *Note: All labour force statistics are from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. Data is seasonally adjusted, unless otherwise indicated. Read the full July 2011 B.C. Labour Market snapshot. Click here.

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