Alberta has high rate of young adults not in employment, education or training

Alberta has a higher rate than the Canadian average of people aged 20 to 24 who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), according to data released on Friday by Statistics Canada.

The federal agency said the share of NEET Canadians aged 20 to 24 has ranged from 12 per cent to 15 per cent over the past two decades. In 2018-2019, the NEET rate was 12 per cent, similar to the rate before the 2008-2009 recession.

For Alberta, it was 13 per cent.

In Canada, of these 287,400 youth, 60 per cent were out of the labour force (not looking for work) while 40 per cent were unemployed (looking for work).

“The proportion of NEET youth is closely monitored as these youth may be at higher risk of low income or social exclusion,” said StatsCan.

Young adults
May be at higher risk of low income or social exclusion

“However, these youth could be in a NEET situation for many reasons, such as taking a break between their studies and working, travelling, caring for children, volunteering or serving in their community. A recent study showed that about three in 10 people aged 15 to 29 who were in a NEET situation had done at least some amount of volunteering in the previous 12 months, while almost four in 10 women aged 25 to 29 in a NEET situation were caring for children as their main activity.”

In Canada, in 2018-2019, women and men were represented in similar proportions among NEETs aged 20 to 24. However, among those in a NEET situation who are aged 20 to 24, women were 2.5 times more likely to be out of the labour market than unemployed, and men were twice as likely as women to be unemployed. Among young Canadians who were not in a NEET situation in 2018-2019, women were more likely to be in school than men, while men were more likely to be out of school and working, explained the federal agency.

StatsCan said:

  • young women aged 20 to 24 with children were four times more likely (40 per cent) to be in a NEET situation than women without children (10 per cent) in 2018-2019;
  • Indigenous people (First Nations people living off-reserve, Métis or Inuit) aged 20 to 24 had a NEET rate of 23 per cent in 2018-2019 — almost twice the national average of 12 per cent;
  • immigrants and the Canadian-born aged 20 to 24 had similar NEET rates in 2018-2019. However, immigrant men and women in this age group were more likely to be in school and less likely to be working and out of school than their Canadian-born counterparts.

“In general, young people aged 20 to 24 living in an urban or rural area have similar NEET rates. However, youth in rural areas were more likely to be working and out of school than urban youth in 2018-2019, while urban youth were more likely than rural youth to still be in school,” added the federal agency.

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