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What is Happening in the Youth Labour Market in Canada?

  • Paul Beaudry
  • Thomas Lemieux
  • Daniel Parent

This paper analyzes the evolution of the labour market participation rate of men and women age 15 to 24 from 1976 to 1998. The main question being asked is why youth participation rates fell precipitously during the 1990s? We look at two dimensions of this decline: changes in the fraction of youth who participate in the labour market but do not attend school (non-student participation rate) and changes in the employment rate among students. We find that the decline in the non-student participation rate is a consequence of two factors: (i) the overall bad state of the labour market in Canada during the 1990s and (ii) the large increase in school enrolment rates induced by factors other than the state of the labour market. One important finding is that demographic change (baby boom versus baby bust) is a key explanation behind the steep increase in enrolment rates during the 1980s and 1990s. The only components of youth outcomes in the 1990s which we are unable to reasonably explain is the fall in the employment rate of students age 15 to 19.

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Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 26 (2000)
Issue (Month): s1 (July)
Pages: 59-83

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:26:y:2000:i:s1:p:59-83
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  1. Robert Shimer, 1999. "The Impact of Young Workers on the Aggregate Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green, 2000. "Cohort patterns in Canadian earnings: assessing the role of skill premia in inequality trends," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 907-936, November.
  3. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1997. "Cohort Crowding and Youth Labor Markets: A Cross-National Analysis," NBER Working Papers 6031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," NBER Working Papers 3358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2000. "Adapting to Circumstances (The Evolution of Work, School,and Living Arrangements among North American Youth)," NBER Chapters, in: Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries, pages 171-214 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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