Canada’s youth are in a job crisis, and new data on the number of graduates looking for work shows the extent of the problem.
According to a study from job search engine Adzuna, there are 13 recent university graduates fighting for every grad job available.
That’s a significantly worse situation than for job-seekers in general. According to StatsCan, there were 6.5 job-seekers per job overall in Canada as of January of this year.
Adzuna estimates there are 220,000 graduates available in Canada to fill just 16,757 positions requiring grads.
But your odds of landing one of those positions differs greatly depending on where you are.
Alberta leads the country with the “least competitive” job market for recent grads, meaning the most jobs for every job-seeker. There are fewer than 10 job-seekers per job there (still not a particularly good ratio). In some Atlantic provinces, like New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, there are more than 30 recent grads per job available.
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What degree you hold can also make a big difference as to where you can find work.
“Toronto is the top city in Canada for accounting and financial graduates, Vancouver for [information technology], and Calgary for engineering,” the report stated.
The survey found the highest-paying entry-level position was for civil engineers, with a starting salary of $68,356, on average. In fact, engineers of all sorts dominate the list of best-paying grad jobs (see slideshow above). At the other end of the spectrum are jobs in the creative and design category, which have the lowest starting pay of any positions requiring a degree — $36,805 on average.
But with so few jobs available overall, young Canadian grads are increasingly working in jobs outside their fields, often in jobs that don’t require a degree. As of 2006, one in four Canadian grads was working in a job that didn’t require a degree. Maclean’s magazine estimates that that ratio has gone up since the Great Recession.
In the U.S., where more recent stats are available, nearly half of all recent grads are estimated to be working in a job that doesn’t require a degree. The number of recent graduates who earn the minimum wage in the U.S. has jumped 70 per cent in the past 10 years, though that number is down from its 2010 peak.