Canada loses 39,400 jobs in July; youth struggle to find work
Published Friday, August 9, 2013 8:36AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 9, 2013 10:29PM EDT
Of the 1.4 million Canadians who are currently unemployed, almost a third is young people between the ages of 15 and 24, according to a new Statistics Canada report.
Surprising figures show that the Canadian labour force lost 39,400 net jobs in July, many of which were occupied by young workers. The biggest overall drop was in Quebec, where 30,400 jobs were lost.
July was the second consecutive month of job losses in the country. However, only 400 net jobs were shed in June.
Canada’s official unemployment rate now stands at 7.2 per cent. And the market just got even worse for young people looking for summer jobs or full-time employment.
Montreal resident Meena Khan, a law school graduate, has been looking for a job for months without luck.
“You think you’re doing all the right things, but nothing’s happening,” she told CTV News. “The reality is that the law market in Montreal is very tight.”
Even high school students are having a tough time this summer. Statistics Canada noted that the employment rate for students aged 15 and 16 was the lowest since records on the category began being kept in 1977.
StatsCan also noted a record loss of 74,000 public service jobs in July, mostly in the health care and social assistance category. Some analysts attributed that to government cutbacks and fiscal restraint.
However, others questioned how so many public sector workers could suddenly be unemployed.
“We're likely to see some pressure in public sector employment over the next couple of years, but it's highly unlikely it all happened in a month,” said Doug Porter, Bank of Montreal’s chief economist.
The outlook was better in the private sector, which added more than 31,000 new workers – more than half them in Alberta -- last month.
Economists warn that one-month jobs reports often represent blips in the market as opposed to trends, so it’s hard to draw any real conclusions.
“I think Canada’s economy will actually pick up in the second half of this year, largely on the back of a U.S. economy recovery that should spur more job growth,” said Sal Guatieri, a senior economist with the Bank of Montreal.
With a report from CTV’s Omar Sachedina and files from The Canadian Press