Who had it easy?: the job market greeting grads

There’s been plenty of heated response to Emma Teitel’s “Boomers, You Folks Had it Easy,” column. It left me curious about what I suppose might be the most telling single indicator of the labour force’s ability to absorb new entrants—the unemployment rate for 15- to 24-year-olds. So I asked Statistics Canada for that data, going back through the decades. And here you go: six statistical snapshots of how the job market looked just after the spring graduation ceremonies:

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for youth (15 to 24 years) Canada

June 1962: 9.1 per cent

June 1972: 11.1 per cent

June 1982: 18.3 per cent

June 1992: 17.9 per cent

June 2002: 14 per cent

May 2012: 14.3 per cent

(Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey. Sticklers might want to note that the survey for 1962 and 1972 was slightly different than for subsequent years.)