Report

Lives Put on Hold: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Canada’s Youth

2022

Lives Put on Hold: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Canada’s Youth

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This report was published by the C.D. Howe Institute.

HERE’S HOW THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE THIS REPORT:

Canada’s youth face career scarring and learning losses post-pandemic, according to a new report released by the C.D. Howe Institute. In Lives Put on Hold: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Canada’s Youth, authors Parisa Mahboubi and Amira Higazy find that youth were disproportionally affected by work and education disruptions, which if left unaddressed, could have major life-long effects on young workers’ employment, productivity, future wages, and life-time income.

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed unemployment rates to a record high for youth, although they have since recovered in many sectors. Still, a major concern is the potential for serious and long-lasting negative career impacts, known as “scarring”. Evidence from past recessions shows that new labour-market entrants and early career workers face an increased incidence of unemployment in the future and employment in lower quality, lower paying jobs.

Prospects for young Canadians have been worsened by educational disruptions that affected learning, including school closures, inconsistent learning settings, low attendance rates, and classroom engagement, and a lack of preparedness for emergency remote digital learning. These learning losses are expected to be particularly significant for low-income and disadvantaged youth with inequitable access to technologies and resources needed for distanced learning.

Mahboubi, P., & Higazy, A. (2022). Lives Put on Hold: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Canada’s Youth. C.D. Howe Institute. https://www.cdhowe.org/public-policy-research/lives-put-hold-impact-covid-19-pandemic-canadas-youth

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