Volume 93, Issue 79

Wednesday, March 1, 2000


Federal budget questioned

The Shot Pool Pub faces final last call

Youth unemployment changes for the better

Funds for double cohort announced

Sex and education not a perfect match

New budget targets "brain-drain"



Caught on campus

Youth unemployment changes for the better

By Heather Buchan
Gazette Staff

Young Canadians should be optimistic about finding summer jobs, as the youth unemployment rate was announced yesterday to be at its lowest point in nearly 10 years.

Kevin Makra, president of the Student Employment Network, said this year's rate of 12.5 per cent was down from the 14 per cent rate of approximately two years ago and should come as a relief to people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Although youth unemployment has dropped, Makra said he did not want to set the wrong expectations for young people. "The numbers are of little consolation to a young person who is having difficulty finding a job," he said. "Youths still have to work hard to market themselves effectively."

Makra advised starting the job search early and added the key to getting employed was to make yourself stand out. "Go into the company personally to drop off a résumé," he said. "If the employer can put a face to a name, it makes 100 per cent difference."

Makra added Canadian youth should not be frustrated if they don't get a job in their field. "Part-time jobs are what teach youth what they want to pursue as a career and what they would rather not continue."

Sharon Lee, co-ordinator of Western's Student Development Centre, said there has certainly been an increase in job postings for summer employment over the past year. She said her office has seen a 15 to 25 per cent increase across all programs, including internships, summer part-time employment, on-campus recruiting and work study. "This is a very positive time for students and graduates who are entering the work force," she said.

Lucie Bohac, executive director of the Canadian Youth Foundation, said youths who had completed post-secondary education had a much better chance of getting the job they want. "Overall, the decline in youth unemployment is a good thing, but there are still areas that need to be focused on," she said.

Roger Butt, director of the youth initiatives program at Human Resources Development Canada, agreed with Bohac. He said the drop in the unemployment rate was encouraging, however there was still a significant problem of unemployment.

"Youth unemployment is differentiated quite differently throughout the country," he said, adding Newfoundland has the highest rate at over 20 per cent and Manitoba has the lowest at under 10 per cent.

"There are still many less educated people falling through the cracks. The absolute numbers may be lower, but significant barriers remain," Butt said.

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright © The Gazette 2000