Youth Not in School or at Work

A recent study about youths was released by the government, and it states that last year 13% of all Canadians between the ages of 15 and 29 weren’t attending school or working. That represents more than 900,000 people. Seems like a big number, but it’s still the lowest percentage of all G7 nations.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not going to school or work, and just spending some time enjoying life and learning about oneself. When I was 19 years old I spent several months not working or studying. I had all the time to think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. The choices I made thereafter have been some of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s nice to relax and live with family for awhile before deciding which direction to go in life, as long as you don’t get accustomed to being lazy indefinitely.


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The study also says men aged 15 to 24 had the hardest time finding work compared to women in the same age group. Also single young adults like myself are more likely to be unemployed than married young adults. Given these statistics I would say I am very lucky to have been consistently employed since 2008. If you are between 15 and 29 and are looking for work, don’t give up. I had 5 different interviews before I landed my first job so it’s somewhat of a numbers game. Going into an industry in demand like nursing, engineering, IT, or maybe even a trade, will also help you out.

Our unemployment rate for youths aged 15 to 29 not in school is 11.8%. The study says that among young adults who are not working, 1 out of 5 said they wanted a job, despite the fact that they weren’t looking for one, (~o~). C’mon guys, we can’t expect a job to just fall into our laps in today’s labor market. I’m pretty comfortable overall with the results of this study. It means to me that if someone really wants to work, they will find a job eventually. At least we don’t have it as bad as the Europeans where the youth unemployment rate in Italy is around 30%, and in Spain it’s over 50% (゜o゜)


G7 – An international finance group consisting of 7 industrialzed nations: France, US, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada.

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Not Working
Not Working
05/25/2012 6:14 am

I work in IT and pretty much each day i can relate to the picture you posted today haha !

05/25/2012 6:21 am
Reply to  Not Working

There’s a British comedy called the IT Crowd. That’s pretty much how I interpret IT workers in general lol.

Jeremy @ Modest Money
05/25/2012 6:17 am

Wow those rates in Italy and Spain are pretty high. I wonder if in some of those countries more young people are just not paying taxes on their income. Maybe Canadian youth are just more honest in general. Or maybe the warm weather over there just makes people more inclined to want to take time off after they finish school.

05/25/2012 6:24 am

I think you’re right. We’re more honest here in general. Tax evasion is a big problem in many European countries.

05/26/2012 9:15 am

why do you think it’s ok for young adults not doing school OR work?

Unless they’re involved in something like a multi-month travel experience or volunteer commitment, I think there is absolutely no reason anyone should be doing essentially nothing for such an extended period of time — or any period of time, really because if you’re not in school and not employed, the bulk of your time should be spent remedying one of those situations. I really doing think “finding yourself” is justification to do nothing. You should find yourself by pursuing things. It doesn’t have to be work or school, but you should be actively involved in the community or a hobby in some way. Otherwise what are you doing? Just watching tv all day?

I feel like many of that 13% that aren’t in school or work are:
1) homeless, which is very sad
2) living at home with their parents doing nothing, which is also very sad
3) between jobs or off from school, which is temporary

I definitely don’t want to believe 13% of the population is just dicking around, and I definitely don’t think we should be supportive of that.

05/26/2012 4:27 pm
Reply to  Bridget

Good points. There are lots of opportunities out there and people can always find something interesting to do. Must keep the mind sharp after all ^_^ Taking a break once in awhile or going on holidays for a short period of time can also be good to unwind from a stressful year, as long as young adults don’t create a long term habit of it because I agree that any long term inactivity is detrimental to the individual and society. The homeless rate really is very sad considering how rich we are as a country.

05/27/2012 6:49 am

I think that there IS a problem that there are people aged 15-18 unemployed and/or not in school. However, it’s less of a problem for those 18-24 that aren’t in school.

05/27/2012 12:05 pm
Reply to  M B

That makes a lot of sense, because highschool is free so there’s no reason why someone in grade 11 or 12 shouldn’t in school. Maybe the study should have broken down the age categories, instead of grouping secondary students with people in their late 20s lol.

05/28/2012 11:54 am

It’s interesting, because for me, there was not a period between the ages of 18 to … now… 😉 where I have not been working, not in school or not doing both! I just think I would have felt so idle if I had not kept busy!

Maybe I have been lucky, but I also don’t think that it’s as hard to find an entry level job as people make it out to be. I’ve been rejected lots, but I’ve always managed to find something, eventually. Doesn’t mean that it’s always been an “ideal” job, but it’s better than not having a job. A lot of it just has to do with persistence and how well you present yourself.

05/28/2012 1:08 pm
Reply to  CF

I think that’s what Flaherty was referring to when he said “there’s no such thing as a bad job, if you don’t already have one.” I agree, persistence is key, and we can’t always have the ideal jobs want. I think a big part of the unemployed and not in school are young adults who refuse to flip burgers or pump gas because they expect something better to come along.