Conference Board VP cautiously optimistic on youth job rate

July 3, 2013

Youth employment numbers for the month of May could be the signal of some relief to a 5-year slump, says Conference Board of Canada senior VP and chief economist Glen Hodgson in recent commentary. Roughly 95,000 jobs were created in Canada in the month, and 54,000 of them went to young workers, causing the Canadian youth unemployment rate to fall by almost a full percentage point, to 13.6%. Hodgson points out that one month does not make a trend, but that “if the labour market for young workers in Canada has reached a positive turning point, it would be a further and welcome sign of a sustained growth recovery.” Still, Hodgson warns that the Canadian labour force participation rate will steadily decline over the coming decade, due to the number of baby boomers at or nearing retirement age, and that engaging young Canadians in the workforce should be a higher national priority than relying upon temporary foreign workers. Globe and Mail