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Youth Unemployment in Alberta: Part I

Youth Unemployment in Alberta: Part I

Posted on: 9/10/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team


Alberta’s economy may be picking up momentum in the latter half of 2018, but the reality for thousands of job seekers is that it’s still tough to find a job. This is especially true for young people.

The graph below compares the unemployment rate of youth aged 15 to 24 in our province with those of older workers. In August, the youth jobless rate was 11.8 per cent — the highest of any age category in Alberta. It was more than twice the rate for people aged 25-54 (5.6 per cent), and higher than that of mature workers aged 55 and over (7.0 per cent).

The bright side is that compared to a year ago, the unemployment rate has dropped by two-and-a-half percentage points. And it has come off the extreme high of 15.0 per cent since the worst of the recession in July of 2016.

The reality of the jobs market is that youth unemployment is always higher than that of older workers. Over the past five years — which includes both the boom economy of 2013-14 as well as the recession — youth unemployment rates have averaged 5.9 percentage points higher than those of workers aged 25-54. Currently, the gap is 6.2 percentage points.

Tomorrow, The Owl will compare youth unemployment rates in Alberta to those of young people in other provinces and the Canadian average.

Youth unemployment rate, graph​​

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