Young workers’ wage and job situation placing market at risk

In a report released on Monday (December 5), Statistics Canada revealed that young workers nationwide are facing far worse conditions compared to professionals from older generations, with the youth unemployment rate over a period of 4 decades (from 1976 to 2015) being around 2.3 times higher than the rate among workers older than 25 years old.
 
Less young Canadians are also working in full-time positions today than in 1976, The Canadian Press reported.
 
These trends accompanied a severe decline in the take-home pay and the purchasing power of this demographic by the early 1980s, with young Canadian males (17 to 24 years old) experiencing a 15 per cent reduction in their real hourly wages, and young females suffering a 10 per cent drop.
 
Experts have warned that this continued crippling of the young home buying market is placing the entire Canadian real estate sector at risk, as more and more millennials would not be able to buy homes even at the lower price brackets.
 
In a recent interview, UBC School of Population policy professor Paul Kershaw and York University finance professor Moshe Milevsky cautioned that the prohibitive prices today might trigger a vicious cycle that will culminate into a major headache for the Canadian economy.
 
“If people stop making initial acquisitions there is a possibility that further sales and other parts of the retail sector will slow down and then that will have an impact on the price people can sell their homes,” Kershaw said.
 
“The last thing we want is to be a commodity labour market. What's stopped us from doing that is the connections we've had to our community. If the younger generation sees housing as unaffordable and uninteresting they're more likely to move internationally,” Milevsky agreed.

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