OTTAWA— At a time when youth unemployment is high and many university students are struggling to find jobs or co-op placements, the federal government has significantly cut the number of students it hires, says a new report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The report, by CCPA Research Associate Kayle Hatt, finds summer hiring of students in the federal public service has declined by more than a third (36%) since 2009 and non-summer hiring of students has declined an average of 23%.
As with youth unemployment in general, the summer employment rate for students has not recovered at all since the worst of the recession. There were 106,000 full-time post-secondary students between 20-24 who wanted to work in June but couldn’t find a job.
“There is clearly a youth unemployment problem in Canada and it’s one that has large economic costs. Youth who experience a period of unemployment earn less over their career than their peers,” says Hatt. “As a result of these cuts the federal government now provides fewer opportunities to students and this represents a retreat from its responsibility to help develop the skills of the next generation of Canadian workers.”
According to the report, it does not appear that the decline in student hiring by the federal government is part of a central directive or a central plan, but is simply the result of separate spending decisions in individual departments that have faced large budget cuts as the government attempts to eliminate the deficit before the next election.
“These student employment programs are not make-work programs. Students work in actual positions, providing service while gaining important, marketable experience. Given the extent of our current youth unemployment problems, the federal government should increase—not cut—the number of students it hires,” concludes Hatt.
Help Not Wanted: Federal public service cuts have hit student hiring hard is available on the CCPA website: http://policyalternatives.ca
For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Senior Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.