Youth unemployment seen as risk to global recovery

Canada's Human Resources Minister, Diane Finley, says there's a global sense of urgency among G20 labour ministers about the need to create jobs to stave off a future economic crisis.
Human Resources Minister Diane Finley poses for a family picture with fellow G20 labour ministers during the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting in Paris. (Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters)

Canada's human resources minister says there's a global sense of urgency around the need to create jobs to stave off a future economic crisis.

Diane Finley is in Paris meeting with her G20 counterparts and says the feeling around the table is that job creation must be front-and-centre in economic recovery plans.

The Harper government has promised to make jobs the priority during this fall session of Parliament by forging ahead with programs announced in the June budget.

They say the economy has recovered all the jobs lost during the recession.

17.2% jobless rate among Canada's youth

Finley says Canada's youth unemployment rate remains too high, however.

The most recent Statistics Canada data pegged the rate at 17.2 per cent this summer.

In a phone interview, Finley said getting more young people working requires better relationships with industry and other levels of government.

She says it is not just Canada's problem but one facing all G20 nations who fear creating a demoralized generation who just choose never to get a job.

A report released on the eve of the Paris meeting suggests that 200 million people are unemployed around the world.

And the OECD and the International Labour Organization say that number is growing.

The report on job-creation policies across the G20 complimented the targeted job programs put in place by the Canadian government, but suggested scaling them up might be difficult.

It also suggested there is a sharp increase in long-term unemployment in Canada, which the report says can be associated with greater risks of poverty, health problems and school failure for children.

The G20 labour ministers have formed a task force to examine the issue and report back in time for the 2012 meetings.