Youth Unemployment Rate


Percentage of all unemployed youth (age 15 to 24 years) in the labour force.

Why This Matters

“Employment is associated with the financial stability of Canadians and their families. As well, employment usually contributes to better self-esteem, more social interaction, and a shared sense of purpose. Employment is related to higher levels of mental health and wellbeing, and the financial means that allow access to better quality food and shelter, in addition to numerous leisure and educational opportunities. Consequently, higher employment rates indicate greater population wellbeing.” Canadian Index of Well-Being – accessed November 11, 2019

“Today, as younger Canadians finish school, begin to work, look for homes and start families, they are “squeezed” by stagnant incomes, high costs, less time and mounting debts. They are more likely to be stuck in temporary or “precarious” jobs than in the past— translating into a delay in their ability to fully participate in society—and are at risk for reduced lifetime earnings and savings.

“By virtue of their age, young people lack the work experience to have easy transitions into the labour market. Youth are also the most vulnerable to economic shocks: they are often the ‘last in, first out.’

“While some challenges are common to all young people, some face additional barriers and could be described as vulnerable. Young people who have completed post-secondary studies have the highest rate of employment, while the employment rates of their peers who have not completed high school are significantly lower. Even with high school or post-secondary education, there can be employment gaps for young recent immigrants, or youth who have a disability. The challenges faced by Indigenous youth are particularly difficult. Some young people not in education, employment or training are at risk of becoming excluded from society.” Employment and Social Development Canada, Expert Panel on Youth Employment, “13 Ways to modernize youth employment in Canada” Accessed November 11, 2019.

Measurement and Limitations

No Peterborough area data available after 2015.

The unemployment rate for a particular group (age, sex, marital status, etc.) is the number unemployed in that group expressed as a percentage of the labour force for that group. Estimates are percentages, rounded to the nearest tenth.

From 2001 to 2014, due to a slightly smaller sample size relative to other CMAs, the unemployment level and rate in Kelowna and Peterborough has more sampling variability and should therefore be interpreted with caution.

To ensure respondent confidentiality, estimates below a certain threshold are suppressed. For Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia suppression is applied to all data below 1,500. The threshold level for Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan is 500, while in Prince Edward Island, estimates under 200 are supressed. For census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and economic regions (ERs), use their respective provincial suppression levels mentioned above. Estimates are based on smaller sample sizes the more detailed the table becomes, which could result in lower data quality.

Data Source

Statistics Canada. Labour force survey estimates to 2016 by CMA. CANSIM table 282-0129

Statistics Canada Provincial and economic region data available to 2016 in CANSIM table 282-0123 (based on 2011 census boundaries)

Last update: May 2019. Data updated annually.


Canadian Index of Well-Being. “Percentage of labour force employed” Accessed November 11, 2019

Employment and Social Development Canada, Expert Panel on Youth Employment, “13 Ways to modernize youth employment in Canada” Accessed November 11, 2019


Youth Unemployment Rate in the Sustainable Development Goals

Click on the SDG to reveal more information