Young people in Ontario — especially Toronto — are among the least employed in the country, according to a new report that shows the province’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

The report, released Friday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, shows that for those under 24 years of age, joblessness is more common in Ontario than anywhere in Canada, aside from Atlantic Canada.

The report analyzed employment data from Statistics Canada over the past five years following the global economic crisis.

"The big story is that five years after the Great Recession, youth remain largely shut out of Ontario’s slow economic recovery,"  Sean Geobey wrote in the report, The Young and the Jobless.

This year, the unemployment rate for Ontario youth between the ages of 15 and 24 was between 16 and 17.1 per cent, while the Canadian average was between 13.5 and 14.5 per cent.

Some of Ontario’s worst youth unemployment rates

Windsor 24.7 per cent

London 20.3 per cent

Toronto 18.1 per cent

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 13.8 per cent

Hamilton 13.2  per cent

Windsor, Oshawa, Brantford and London were the most noted unemployment hotspots with 20 per cent of youth without paying jobs — rates similar to those in the European Union.

Toronto's youth unemployment rate was 18.1 per cent, according to the report.

The city’s youth employment rate is 43.5 per cent. The city also topped the list as the area that has the largest gap between youth and adult employment in the province at 21.8 per cent.

Ontario’s youth unemployment rates rival some of its U.S. neighbours like Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

The report says that the serious case of joblessness is not just the byproduct of the 2008 global economic crisis, and that there is no clear evidence the trends will cease in the near future.


  • A previous version of this story said that Toronto's employment rate was 43.5 cent. In fact, that's the city's youth employment rate, according to a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
    Sep 29, 2013 3:33 PM ET