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Youth struggle to find employment in Alberta

By Admin User on February 25, 2020

Unemployment rates in Alberta have gone down since 2017, but the rates of youth unemployment have not seen as much of a change. For youth between the ages of 18 and 25, the unemployment rate is at 13.1 per cent almost double the overall provincial rate of 7.3 per cent.

In Canada, unemployment is at 5.6 per cent. In recent years Alberta has been one of the provinces with a higher rate of unemployment (at 11 per cent in 2017), and still remains above the national average.

For youth, especially students, there are more obstacles in finding work than for others. Finding a part-time job can be challenging when employers are looking for people that can work more hours. Beyond that, transportation can be a big issue for young people who can’t afford their own vehicles.

“Well I know for a fact that transportation is hard for a lot of young people. If you don’t have a job it’s tough to afford a car, if you can’t afford a car – and the insurance that these young people have to pay on cars is outlandish,” says Kyle Dubé, Executive Director of YOUCAN Youth Services.

The modern job application process can also be a lot of work without many results. Alia Flintoft, a fourth year marketing student at NAIT says:

“Sometimes you apply to thirty jobs online and never get a word back.”

The economic downturn in Alberta also plays a role in this issue. With dropping oil prices many positions have been eliminated in this province. These are jobs that would have typically been held by younger males.

“Because there’s so many people out there that lost their jobs in the last three or four years, they’re now taking, what I believe is some of the jobs that the young people would have. A lot of employers would rather hire a person with more experience in a field or even life experience than some of the youth in our province. And I just think it’s a natural progression of what’s happening,” says Dubé.

If you examine youth unemployment by gender, you’ll find that males are having a harder time finding work. Female youth tend to stay closer to the overall average for the province.

NAIT students struggling to find work can make an appointment with career councillors.



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