Gen Y Employment Down But Wages Steady, Says Stats Can

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Employment patterns for post-secondary students who work during the academic year have changed due to the economic downturn, reports Statistics Canada.

The study used data from the Labour Force Survey to determine the long-term trends in employment during the school year. The survey analyzed young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who are enrolled full-time in college, university or CEGEP.

The survey found that 542,000 post secondary students were employed between the 2009-2010 school year.

“This represents an employment rate of 45%, down from 48% in 2007 and 2008, just before the economic downturn,” the report says.

From 2007 to 2010, full-time employment among CEGEP, university and college students declined by 30,000. The survey also found that of those employed during the school year only 9 out of 10 worked part-time.

As a result of the wage increase from $10.75 to $11.80, the average earnings for employed students was steadied at $6,300 during the 2009 and 2010 school year. In addition, students aged 20 to 24 were more likely to work during the academic year than those aged 15 to 19.

The survey also found that 49% of Canadian-born students with jobs worked during the school year, compared to 32% of immigrant students.

When it came to determining what sector most students worked in during the 2009-2010 school year, the service sector ranked highest at 96%. The retail trade sector stood at 36% with 200,000 students representing 10% of all jobs in that industry.

Statistics Canada also reports that, in this year alone, the employment rate for students between the ages of 20 and 24 fell from 70% to 63%. The percentage of full-time jobs declined from 61% to 57%.

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Simi Pannu is TalentEgg's Fall 2010 editorial intern! She is a first-year journalism student at Ryerson University. Currently undecided on which direction to go to -- i.e. teaching english/history or continue with journalism -- she hopes to figure it out before the end of first term.