Job market weakens for B.C.'s young workers 0
Fewer and fewer youth have jobs in B.C. — a trend that has continued since the recession of 2008 — and one popular suggestion is that companies simply don't want young workers anymore. (FOTOLIA)
A growing trend has resulted in fewer and fewer workers aged 24 or younger in the province, as their older counterparts continue to expand in the workforce.
The trend has people wondering if young people just refuse to “move their butt” off the couch or are employers simply not hiring less-experienced youth.
BC Stats found there are 7,400 fewer youth aged 15 to 24 with jobs in B.C. as of August 2013, compared with the previous year. The trend started five years ago and now there are 38,100 fewer jobs held by the province’s youth compared to 2007 pre-recession levels.
In the same time period, according to the data, adult jobs for those age 25 or older have grown by 128,200.
Ken Denike, a Vancouver School Board trustee, said on Wednesday a weak economy has resulted in companies cutting their “least productive employees,” which often means youth.
“The result is improved productivity in most sectors, but this is at the cost of lack of entry-level jobs which largely affects youth,” Denike said.
“An additional problem is (the) reluctance of companies to provide in-house training as those entry-level employees are likely to move to higher paid jobs at the competitors.”
Heather Tait, a Lower Mainland mother of four, believes the problem could be a lack of programs to encourage “unmotivated” youth — such as her 19-year-old son — to seek employment or schooling.
“We have to disconnect our Internet when we leave the house,” Tait said. “(My son) much prefers to be sitting at home playing video games … I don’t know where he gets this idea the world can be handed to him on a silver platter.”
Her son declined to be interviewed.
Whistler barista David Little has a degree in web designing and sought a job in that field for more than a month before giving up to make coffee instead.
The U.K. man turned 25 in July and isn’t part of the demographic anymore, but feels their pain as six companies recently turned him down.
“Obviously companies are trying to minimize costs, with a lesser labour force and they’re less likely to take risks. So young people without the experience wouldn’t be preferred, because obviously there’s a big investment in training.”
The B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training said the problem is a concern “across the entire country,” adding overall youth unemployment sank 3.3% in the past two years when the BC Jobs Plan was introduced.