While the Harper government touts its record for job creation, it never mentions youth unemployment. That's because it focuses on its core constituency -- baby boomers, like me, who have retired. For the Harperites, the young don't matter. Indeed, they are a lost generation.
Carol Goar, in the Toronto Star, invites her readers to consider the facts:
• The International Labour Organization (ILO) projects no change in the job outlook for youth until 2016 at the earliest.
• Statistics Canada shows temporary and contract work is increasing at a faster pace among young workers than the rest of the population.
• According to Ottawa’s labour force survey, the youth unemployment rate has scarcely budged since the recession. It peaked at 15.2 per cent in 2009. It is 15.0 per cent now.
• The Canadian economy is undergoing profound structural change.
• Governments are cutting thousands of high-quality jobs in the public sector.
• And Ottawa is bringing in hundreds of thousands of temporary foreign workers to a plug holes in the labour force.
Previous studies in the United States and the UK have tracked the long term consequences of youth unemployment. In the UK:
Those who had experienced one bout of unemployment were still paying a wage penalty of 8 to 10 per cent two decades later. Those who had been out work several times were earning 12- to 15-per-cent less than their peers. Every layoff heightened the stigma they carried in the eyes of prospective employers.
Canada's present masters are intent on cutting costs. They have no desire to invest. And, by not investing in the young, they are impeding economic growth, even as they pat themselves on the back for their wise economic management.