A New Deal For Young People

One of the key emerging issues is about the direction our country is headed in and what Canadian millenials and baby boomers had to say in a national poll.

Precarious Work, Low Benefits:

92% of boomers know at least one person with a workplace pension.

20% of millenials don’t know anyone with a workplace pension.

52%, Over half of millenials think their generation will work on contract – either mixed with permanent jobs, or contracts alone. Only 14% of their parents’ generation had a work life similar to the one their children expect for themselves.

Lowered Expectations

60% of millenials think the gap between the rich and poor will only grow during their lifetime.

49% of baby boomers think their children’s economic opportunities are worse today than when they were growing up.

An economy tilted towards corporations

Do people trust that corporations work hard to create good jobs? Nope. 85%

Baby boomers (85%) and millenials (79%) overwhelmingly agree that corporations put a higher priority on profits than they do in creating good Canadian jobs.

Corporations have hoarded savings from tax cuts rather than reinvesting in the economy to create good jobs. Millenials 48% agree. Boomers 60% agree.

Lower union membership makes good jobs harder to find

Harder: Millenials 59%, Boomers 55% Easier: Millenials 8%, Boomers 11%

It’s time for a new deal!

 

There is a lot of talk about high levels of youth unemployment and under-employment.  But talk is cheap, and governments and employers are still coming up short.

The federal government has shown scant interest or leadership. Despite a sharp rise in youth unemployment since the recession, the Conservatives have actually reduced spending on the Youth Employment Strategy (YES), $335.7 million in 2013-14, down from the $397.9 million it spent in 2010-11.

 

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE CANADA MUST STEP UP

Youth Job Guarantee – a promise for every person under age 25 of a quality job offer, apprenticeship, or place in a training course within 4 months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The guarantee is inspired by a similar principle endorsed by the Council of the European Union in 2013.

To kick-start the Youth Job Guarantee, the Broadbent Institute is calling on Canadian businesses to invest $670 million per year to fund an initial youth employment initiative. These funds would be matched by an equal annual injection from the federal government (boosting what they currently spend on the Youth Employment Strategy to $1 billion). The large employer contribution would come in the form of job placements, while the federal government’s portion would support placements with small private sector employers as well as with public sector and not-for-profit organizations.

This modest investment, a combined total of $1.34 billion, could create 186,000 full-time co-op positions, paid internships or summer job placements that pay $15 per hour. The price tag for employers is but a tiny fraction of the $630 billion in “dead money” corporate Canada is currently sitting on. The federal contribution of $670 million would be only about a quarter of the $3 billion price tag of the Conservatives’ controversial income splitting proposal.

The contextThere are significantly more young people looking for work today than there are available jobs. As of May 2014, one in seven (13.3%) young people aged 15 to 24, or 380,600 young Canadians, are out of work. Many more are under-employed or have given up looking for work altogether.

Young workers bore much of the brunt of the 2008-09 recession, and despite talk of recovery, their employment situation today remains much worse than it was beforehand.

The unemployment rate for youth is typically about double that of so-called “core age” workers aged 25 to 54. In Canada, this ratio jumped to a much higher level of 2.4 in the post-recession recovery, and stood at 2.3 as of May

The ImpactAn initial Youth Job Guarantee initiative could have a significant impact on youth unemployment and help address some of the key challenges hampering young Canadians in the labour market. The initiative would target specific groups of youth at risk of long-term unemployment and students leaving the post-secondary educational system. At $15 per hour, a 12-week full-time paid co-op position, paid internship or summer job placement would cost employers $7,200 in terms of wages, assuming a 40 hour work week. Thus, an additional $1.34 billion per year would fund 186,000 such placements. This is more than double the current number of paid co-op placements, and three times the current number of Youth Employment Strategy participants.

Offered on an annual basis (four rounds of positions lasting for three months), the number of unemployed youth in any given month would fall by 46,500 or by about one in eight (12.2%) — enough to reduce the current youth unemployment rate from 13.3% to 11.7%. Importantly, in the long term it could also be scaled up into a more far-reaching program.

This is one of the most important issues we face – a responsibility to our young people and future generations.  With an aging demographic, our country’s future depends on it!

I am confident – together – we can create a new deal for our young people and our country.  I look forward to working for a New Deal For Young People.

Download the full report on the Broadbent Institute’s Youth Job Guarantee at www.broadbentinstitute.ca.

 

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