Goal 9

Youth Employment - Deep Dive


Goal Status

checkmark icon to signify progressing Progressing Not On Track
Current: 4.5
Baseline: 4.2
Target: 0
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 62.7 14.3
2013 74.9 61.2 13.7
2014 73.7 60.6 13.1
2015 73.1 61.9 11.2
2016 69.3 59.1 10.3
2017 69.2 57.7 11.6
2018 71.6 60.4 11.2

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The youth labour force population in Nova Scotia has been declining steadily since 2012. From 2012 to 2017, the decline in the youth population meant that the number of youth in the labour force, employed youth, and unemployed youth looking for work were 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 2018, the youth labour force rose while the number of unemployed youth declined, leading to a decline in the youth unemployment rate.

However, it is the relative rates – the labour force participation rate and the employment rate – that explain the changing youth unemployment rate. Since 2012, the employment rate for youth has increased by 2.7 percentage points while the participation rate has increased by only 1.0 percentage point. This has led to a decline in the youth unemployment rate by 3.0 percentage points since 2012 as a smaller proportion of young people have trouble finding jobs.

Year Participation Employment Unemployment
2012 65.3 53.2 18.6
2013 64.5 52.7 18.3
2014 64.7 53.2 17.8
2015 65.5 55.5 15.3
2016 63.1 53.8 14.9
2017 63.7 53.1 16.8
2018 66.3 55.9 15.6

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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 have primarily been due to improvements among 20-24-year-olds. The unemployment rate among 15-19-year-olds in Nova Scotia remains very close to what it was in 2012 while the national rate has continued to decline. The gaps between national and Nova Scotian unemployment rates remain relatively large in 2018 as youth unemployment has continued to decline across the country.

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 15.9 16.7
2007 14.8 17.2
2008 15.5 17.4
2009 20 22.1
2010 20 20.5
2011 19.5 22.7
2012 20.1 21
2013 19.5 23.9
2014 18.5 21.8
2015 18.2 21.2
2016 17.8 21.5
2017 15.9 22
2018 15.3 20.7

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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 8.8 11.9
2007 8.7 10
2008 8.9 10.5
2009 12.2 14.6
2010 11.6 13.7
2011 11 12.9
2012 11 17.1
2013 10.4 15.2
2014 10.7 15.5
2015 10.4 11.8
2016 10.6 11.2
2017 9.3 13.5
2018 8.8 12.8

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CHANGES TO THE INDICATOR, BASELINE, OR TARGET:

  • 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 per cent quoted for context in the Now or Never report. This was done to keep the goal consistent in case of future historical revisions to the source data.