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The Star

Dana Flavelle
Business Reporter

Toronto Star
December 29, 2011


Emily Kisch, 22, has a bachelor’s degree in communications and community college diploma in corporate communications. But after looking for a job in her field since April, she’s now a server at a Jack Astor’s restaurant in Mississauga.

With unemployment among young people running at 14.1 per cent, Kisch considers herself lucky.

“At least I have a job,” she says. “Some people don’t even have that.” Among her co-workers is a public relations graduate and a respiratory therapist.

The unemployment picture isn’t likely to get much better in 2012, experts say, especially for people without work experience. For the workforce as a whole, the jobless rate is 7 per cent, but for people between the ages of 15 and 24, the rate is twice as high, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Part of the problem is cyclical weakness in the economy. But there are long-term structural issues as well, such as the fact the baby boom generation is taking longer than expected to retire.

And while the labour market is expected to eventually ease, starting in 2015, for people like Kisch that can mean several years of missed opportunities and a delayed start in life.

First interviewed by the Star in October for a story on youth unemployment, Kisch, who has a degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a diploma from Seneca College in corporate communications, had been looking for work since graduating in April.

Out of four recent post-secondary school graduates profiled for the story, only two have since found full-time work in their field.

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