Youth employment landscape brightens this summer

Compared to last year, the job market this summer is a little more encouraging for students looking for part-time or seasonal work.

“Jobs Halton is seeing more postings in industries such as retail, customer service, food service, seasonal work and landscaping. These industries are key employers for young adults looking for seasonal or part-time work that will allow them to work once they return to school, ”said Jodi Guilmette, Director of Employment and Social Services to the region of Halton.

Statistics Canada reports an unemployment rate for Halton’s youth aged 15 to 24 of 20.1 percent for the second quarter, compared to 29.7 percent in the same period last year, Guilmette said. .

Job hunting can be stressful at the best of times and it hasn’t been the best of times, so students undoubtedly experience an “exacerbated version of the job search,” according to the associate director of Sheridan College Cooperative and Vocational Education, Cory Latimer.

Part of the challenge is that employers are always reluctant to post jobs quickly or hire new people, a natural response to the uncertainty that exists, he said.

But there are “some really encouraging trends” in both Sheridan’s data and national data, he added.

“So far, the students have shown a truly remarkable level of resilience … Things are looking up from last summer, but there is still some way to go. So the patience and persistence of students in a job search is probably more important than ever before, ”said Latimer.

Hamilton, Burlington and Brantford YMCA Youth Employment Program reports significant number of retail and service jobs, but not enough young applicants to fill them due to fears related to COVID-19, according to Lily Lumsden, senior regional director, YMCA Employment and Immigration Services.

“We find that young people as job seekers are a bit reluctant to feel comfortable and confident about going to work, so there is a little lag. Also, parents of young people are reluctant to have them work in some of these industries, so we find it a bit difficult to recruit young people into the jobs that are in demand.

Lumsden suspects that at the end of the summer, as things open up and more people are fully vaccinated, “people will start to feel more comfortable and I think the younger will start to feel better about going to work “.

Then there are these young people who are going on strike on their own with the help of the Summer Company program run by Halton Region.

When Stephanie Mazza’s one-year exchange trip to Japan was cut short last spring as the pandemic set in, she found scarce jobs; it was hard enough to get an interview, let alone a job, said the 19-year-old UBC sophomore.

“I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship, but the lack of jobs during the pandemic was the tipping point to start my entrepreneurial journey a little earlier. Seeing the urgent need for child care, I developed the idea of ​​making it virtual, then I realized that I could make a successful business out of it, so I decided to launch it and start it myself ” said the Burlington resident.

She started a virtual babysitting business offering ukulele lessons, private math lessons, and craft sessions.

Being her own boss allows Mazza to develop her own creativity instead of limiting herself to the ideas of others.

“I also find that being my own boss gives me the opportunity to work my way. “


Every summer, students flood the job market, but last year jobs were hard to find as businesses closed. We spoke to experts to find out if the youth employment landscape looks brighter this season.

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