unemployment canada

New grads in Canada could miss out on $25k in earnings over the next 5 years

Pandemic unemployment could cause a $25,000 loss in earnings over the next five years for new graduates in Canada.

The class of 2020 will be severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, a new StatsCan analysis shows. A simulation the agency ran shows that graduates face losing out on more than $25,000 in earnings between now and 2025.

Between February and May, the first few months of COVID-19 in Canada, the unemployment rate for 15- to 24-year-olds has almost tripled.

May's unemployment rate for the age group was 29.4 per cent, higher than rates during previous recessions in the 1980s, 1990s and late 2000s.

This year's graduates, the report says, are entering a "dire job market" which will impact their earning potential for a while.

It's estimated that male college graduates could lose between $25,197, compared to a $29,491 loss for female graduates. Women with bachelor's degrees could miss out on $5,467, around $2,000 more than men.

The pandemic has disproportionately affected women and marginalized groups. In every scenario StatsCan played out, women saw a steeper decline in income, although the study notes it's unclear why.

The federal government has made efforts to help students overcome financial burdens, like suspending repayment and interest on student loans. Grants and loans are now being offered to students coming back to school, and more job-placement training is being offered, too.

The Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) provides a set monthly income for those unable to find employment between May and August of this year.

Lead photo by

Lia Castro

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