New Brunswick

Students face higher unemployment this summer

Students in New Brunswick are facing higher unemployment this summer, compared to the same time last year, new statistics reveal.

Youth unemployment rate for June was 23%, compared to 17% same time last year

Students in New Brunswick are facing higher unemployment this summer, compared to the same time last year, new statistics reveal.

The unemployment rate for youth aged 16 to 24 was 23 per cent in June — 6.4 percentage points higher than last year, Statistics Canada figures show.

Anne Soucy, director of student employment services at the University of New Brunswick, says she isn't surprised.

"It's the economic times," she said. "New Brunswick is having some economic problems now so some students, depending on their discipline, some students go away."

"There's more opportunity for higher wages if you go west or to Ontario, but then there's the other side where you have to actually pay for your living accommodation, so it's kind of a catch 22," Soucy said.

The other issue is an increase in the number of people working part-time, she said.

"So sometimes they have part-time people and they don't need summer students as much because they have those part-time people."

Soucy says the best way for students to get over the job slump is to apply early and not be too picky.

But even students who are lucky enough to have jobs may end up working overtime or multiple jobs to pay the bills.

Kinesiology student Kerry Grey works three jobs, including mowing the lawn on the Fredericton campus of UNB, to make ends meet.

"I need as much money as I can make in the summer so that I can pay for tuition and I live in an apartment outside of family so all expenses there," he said.

Even if lawn care isn't his field of study, he says he's thankful for the opportunity to work.