September 29, 2010

Students stuck in joblessness

Students stuck in joblessness


Globe and Mail Update

Few groups in Canada were hit as hard by the recession as students.

A paper published Wednesday by Statistics Canada details just how student employment, hours and earnings were affected.

The jobless rate for postsecondary students rose to 9 per cent in the 2009-2010 academic year, from 6.5 per cent in 2007-2008, before the economic downtown. The employment rate was 45 per cent, down from pre-recession levels two years earlier.

“Students have not been immune to the recent economic downturn as they experienced a drop in their employment rate and average hours worked,” the study says.

Despite working one hour less per week, average wages stayed the same because hourly pay increased to $11.80 from $10.75.

The summer of 2009 was the worst for students since the recession years of 1982 and 1993, and this past summer was only marginally better. Between the summers of 2008 and 2009, the employment rate dropped from 70.3 per cent to 63 per cent.

About half of women held a job in the 2009-2010 school year while attending college or university, compared with 40 per cent of men. As well, 49 per cent of Canadian-born students worked, compared with 32 per cent of immigrants.

A previous Statscan study has found that, between October, 2008, and October, 2009, employment fell by 225,000 jobs among people aged 15 to 24 – representing more than half of the total job losses in Canada.

Weak labour markets can have a long-lasting impact on students because they limit career experience and tend to lead to increased borrowing, past studies have found.

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