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Older workers pushing students out of part-time jobs: report

A man looks at job listings in this file photo. A new CIBC report says older Canadians are increasingly pushing students out of low-paying, part-time jobs because they can’t find other work.

Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Older Canadians who can't find higher paying jobs are pushing out students in the low-wage part-time workforce, says a new CIBC World Markets Inc. report.

The jobless rate among students 15-18 years old looking for part-time work has soared to more than 20 per cent, the highest on record, as older workers are forced into part-time jobs, according to the report.

Since 2007, employment in the 15-18 age group has plummeted dramatically by 22 per cent, well above the 4-per-cent drop in that group's population, the report found.

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"While Canada's unemployment rate is well off its recession highs, the quality of new jobs has left much to be desired," CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld says in the analysis, released Thursday.

"Manufacturing has been steadily shrinking its share of the workforce, and of late, governments are also paring back," he said.

"The lack of higher paying work has forced parents into taking the kind of employment previously reserved for teenage students."

Employment on the traditional turf of part-time work for young Canadians – food and retail – has plunged among those aged 19 and under but soared for other age groups, including a dramatic climb for the over-25 age set, said Mr. Shenfeld.

"Young adults, displaced older workers, or immigrants whose education and skills are not always fully rewarded in the job market have been pushed into low-wage work during what has been a fairly lacklustre economic recovery."

The job market has not been producing the necessary higher quality jobs for older workers, says the report.

Faster global economic growth would provide a boost to Canada's export-oriented industries that typically generate better quality jobs, it says.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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