Policy Papers

Canada 2020

Unemployed and Underemployed Youth

July 3, 2014

A Challenge to Canada Achieving its Full Economic Potential

In this new background paper from Canada 2020, we take a look at the employment landscape facing Canadian youth.

The paper’s premise is built upon a simple and well-known fact: Canada’s future economic success will depend on the strength and quality of its human capital – and therefore its investment in young people.

What this paper is not built on, however, is this: that some “special’ status that should be afforded to young people on the premise of intergenerational goodwill.

Rather this report suggests that there are immediate and future economic costs tied to the unemployment and underutilization of young workers.

To gain a better perspective on whether Canada is leveraging its human capital investment efficiently and striving for efficient labour market conditions, especially when it comes to its young people, this report sheds light on recent developments on youth unemployment and underemployment trends.The report also looks at the potential that entrepreneurship holds for young people in today’s workforce, and
the type of support required to attract youth to the sector.

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