Goal 9

Youth Employment - Deep Dive


Goal Status

Progressing and Surpassing checkmark icon Progressing and Surpassing

Nova Scotia's youth unemployment rate has fallen below the national average in 2020 as there was a larger increase in youth unemployment rates at the national level due to COVID-19.

Baseline: 4.1
Target: 0
Current: -2.9
Bands

Movements in the unemployment rate can be influenced by two factors: the relative ease with which people who are looking for work can find it and the number of people who are looking for work. An unemployment rate decrease could be due to an increase in employment, a decrease in the number of people who are looking for work but not employed, or a combination of both.

Year Labour Force Employment Unemployment
2012 77.4 63.2 14.1
2013 75 61.7 13.3
2014 73.2 60.4 12.8
2015 72.9 62 11
2016 69.2 59.2 10
2017 69.8 58.1 11.6
2018 73.1 61.6 11.4
2019 77.2 66.9 10.3
2020 70.5 58.4 12.1

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The youth labour force population in Nova Scotia declined steadily from 2012 to 2017. In this period, the decline in the youth population meant that the number of youth in the labour force, employed youth, and unemployed youth looking for work was also in decline. In 2017 there was an increase in the number of unemployed youth while the labour force continued to decline, causing the unemployment rate to rise. However, in both 2018 and 2019, the youth labour force rose while the number of unemployed youth declined, leading to a decline in the youth unemployment rate. In 2020, the youth labour force declined while the number of unemployed youth increased, leading to an increase in the youth unemployment rate.

It is the relative rates – the labour force participation rate and the employment rate – that explain the changing youth unemployment rate. Compared to 2012, the employment rate for youth has decreased by 0.9 percentage points while the participation rate has decreased by 2.0 percentage points. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, youth participation declined faster than youth employment, resulting in a 1.0 percentage point decrease in the youth unemployment rate from 2012 to 2020.  However, these conditions may return to pre-pandemic trends as the economy normalizes.

Year Participation Employment Unemployment
2012 66.2 54.1 18.2
2013 65.4 53.8 17.7
2014 65.4 54 17.5
2015 66.6 56.6 15.1
2016 63.7 54.5 14.5
2017 64.1 53.4 16.6
2018 66.9 56.4 15.6
2019 69.9 60.6 13.3
2020 64.2 53.2 17.2

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Breaking out the unemployment rate for 15-19-year-olds and 20-24-years-olds shows that changes in the youth unemployment rate come from both age groups. The unemployment rate among 15-19-year-olds in Nova Scotia declined from 21.0 per cent in 2012 to 20.7 per cent in 2020 and for 20-24-year-olds the unemployment rate fell from 17.1 per cent in 2012 to 15.5 per cent in 2020. The gaps between national and Nova Scotian unemployment rates gone into negative in 2020 as youth unemployment rose less compared with national level.

Year Canada (15-19) NS (15-19)
1976 15.6 20.2
1977 17.1 20.3
1978 17.6 20.7
1979 15.9 22.1
1980 16.1 19
1981 16 18.9
1982 21.5 24.7
1983 21.8 24.9
1984 19.7 22.9
1985 18.3 23.9
1986 16.5 21.2
1987 14.8 19.1
1988 12.8 17.3
1989 12.8 16.5
1990 13.9 16.9
1991 16.6 18.9
1992 19.3 20.6
1993 19.6 24.1
1994 18.3 21.3
1995 17.7 20
1996 19.4 19.6
1997 21.4 24.3
1998 19.9 20.9
1999 18.3 21.3
2000 16.5 21.1
2001 16.8 20.8
2002 18 21
2003 18.1 17.9
2004 18.1 19.8
2005 16.5 19.7
2006 15.7 16.3
2007 14.5 17
2008 15.3 17.3
2009 19.6 21.8
2010 19.7 20
2011 19.1 22.6
2012 19.7 20.5
2013 19.1 23.3
2014 18.1 21.5
2015 17.8 20.9
2016 17.4 21.1
2017 15.6 22.1
2018 15 20.5
2019 14.7 17.1
2020 23.6 20.2

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Year Canada (20-24) NS (20-24)
1976 10.2 13.5
1977 11.6 14.4
1978 11.6 15.2
1979 10.4 15.1
1980 10.6 14.4
1981 10.6 15.1
1982 16.2 19.8
1983 17.8 19.9
1984 16.1 19.8
1985 14.4 20.1
1986 13.6 20.2
1987 12.3 18
1988 10.7 14.6
1989 9.7 14.2
1990 11.3 14.6
1991 15.4 19.8
1992 15.9 20
1993 15.7 20
1994 14.4 22.4
1995 13 18.4
1996 12.9 16.9
1997 13.1 18.6
1998 12.1 18.1
1999 11.2 16.4
2000 10.1 12.4
2001 10.2 15.4
2002 10.6 15.7
2003 10.6 14.2
2004 10.3 12
2005 9.7 11.9
2006 8.6 11.6
2007 8.4 9.7
2008 8.7 10.3
2009 11.8 14.2
2010 11.3 13.2
2011 10.6 12.8
2012 10.7 16.8
2013 10.1 14.6
2014 10.4 15.2
2015 10.1 11.6
2016 10.3 10.8
2017 9.1 13.6
2018 8.5 12.8
2019 8.9 11.1
2020 18.2 15.6

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CHANGES TO THE INDICATOR, BASELINE, OR TARGET:

  • Statistics Canada conducted an historical revision to rebase the population in early 2021.  This results in revisions to the baseline indicators for the 2012 reference year.
  • The baseline youth unemployment rate was revised down due to historical revisions by Statistics Canada.
  • Contextual numbers were removed from the statement of the goal. The target was assumed to be the closure of the gap between the Nova Scotia and Canadian youth unemployment rates, not for the Nova Scotia rate to fall to the Canadian rate of 14% quoted for context in the OneNS report. This was done to keep the goal consistent in case of future historical revisions to the source data.