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Talking Point: Failure to Launch

Young and Free

Jul 3, 2014

by Alix Kemp

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The national youth unemployment rate for those between the ages of 15 and 24 was 13.4 per cent in April, compared to the average rate of 6.9 per cent

“Millennials are failing to launch.” It’s a popular refrain in news reports today, and it’s hardly surprising. The national youth unemployment rate for those between the ages of 15 and 24 was 13.4 per cent in April, compared to the average rate of 6.9 per cent, and many more in the group are underemployed. In 2011 in Canada, 42.3 per cent of young adults between the ages of 20 and 29 lived with their parents. The picture for Canadian millennials (and the parents they’re increasingly dependent on) is grim. Except, that is, in Alberta.

Here, many of the province’s young people are thriving, a phenomenon largely driven by the province’s booming resource industry. Only 31.4 per cent of young adults in Alberta still live with their parents, a figure that’s brought down by very low numbers of youth living at home in communities like Grande Prairie (13.5 per cent) and Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo (19.8 per cent). Many young Canadians are flocking to Alberta from elsewhere in the country, leaving their childhood homes behind, while those born and raised in the province are also pursuing jobs in the oil sands. Edmonton and Calgary have significantly more young people living at home – 33.1 per cent and 34.7 per cent, respectively – but that’s still less than the national average, thanks in part to the province’s lower unemployment and higher wages.

By the looks of it, there’s no better place to be young, economically speaking, than Alberta.

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