It's not easy being a young worker today.
United Nations statistics say that about one-half of the world's population are youth, and unemployment rates among young people are of epidemic proportions.
The economic shift from an industrial economy to the technology-based information economy has a profound effect on all workers, but most directly on those new entrants to the labour force who lack the skills and training to acquire stable, well-paid employment.
Young workers face job ghettos as exploitive as those in any industrialized country.
In short, it's young workers who are getting screwed.
Consider these statistics, then and now:
- Today, 58% of 16 year old Canadians are jobless compared to 26% in 1989.
- Young workers in 1992 earned 30% less in real terms than did young people in 1981.
- In 1994, 58% of single men and 71% of single women under 25 lived below the poverty line.
- Most homeless youth are unemployed. An estimated 30% have legitimate jobs, and the rest turn to panhandling and the drug and sex trades.
- Youth unemployment hovers at 20% -- and many young people without jobs have given up looking for work, and are not counted as unemployed.