Youth Employment

The percentage of young people working or looking for work is at its lowest level in more than a decade. Some say that's a reflection of an extremely tough job market for young people. But others say it has more to do with young people's changing expectations when it comes to work.



PART ONE

It's Wednesday, January 5th.

Peter Kent has been named Canada's new Environment Minister.

Currently, he looks forward to finding new and creative ways to avoid dealing with climate change.

This is The Current.

Youth Employment - Sean Lyons

We started this segment with a clip from Caroline Busbridge. She isn't the only person who has struggled to find a job after graduation. On Friday, Statistics Canada will release its employment report for December. The hope is that youth unemployment will continue to fall. It went from 15 per cent in October, to 13.6 per cent in November.

But even if it does, some analysts say there's a larger concern. The percentage of young people participating in the job market -- that's people looking for work or working -- is 63.2 per cent. That's the lowest it has been in more than a decade ... since August of 1999. To put it another way, that means more than 35 per cent of Canadians between 15 and 25 have opted out of the job market altogether ... at least for now.

We wanted to dig into that demographic development this morning, as part of our project Shift. And we began with Sean Lyons. He's a professor in the department of business at the University of Guelph. He is part of a research study called Generational Career Shift, which is investigating generational differences when it comes to career paths, expectations, and attitudes. He was in Guelph, Ontario.

Youth Employment - Panel

Corrine O'Neill and Scott Gerber are 20-somethings who have both experienced the challenge of landing their first jobs out of school. Corrine O'Neill is a 25-year-old entrepreneur from Kitchener, Ontario. She was in Guelph. And Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council, which helps young people create their own jobs. He is the author of a book, Never Get a Real Job. He was in New York City.

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