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Snapshot 11: Precarious Employment Amongst Canada’s Youth: Initial facts and figures

immigrant youth
We took a high-level look at the type and extent of precarious employment conditions for Canadian youth since 2018.

Around 30% of employed Canadian youth (15-29) were precariously employed in 2021. This is down from 31% in 2018.

Do not rejoice yet! It appears that precarious work for youth is predominant despite an employment recovery since the Covid-19 pandemic shutdowns. The following pages will explain why this is still something to worry about.

Defining ‘Precarious’ in Precarious Work

The term ‘precarious’ is now widely used to describe work that is ‘non-standard’ –work that is temporary, poorly paid, insecure, unprotected and often impossible to support a household upon.

This is the kind of work that many are worried that Canadian workers have been increasingly engaged in, over the past decade and sharply since the Covid-19 pandemic.

In fact, we do know specific pockets of Canadians, like newcomer immigrants, economically disadvantaged workers, often from visible minority groups tend to be engaged in precarious employment more than Canadian workers on average. [2]

Precarious work is work described as meeting the following conditions:

These are definitions culled from the Labour Force Survey’s categorization of types of work and are accepted as broadly identifying precarious workers across Canada’s industries and occupations.

That said, the categorization schema of work as precarious according to the above sets of criteria, is useful as an approximation only


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