Canada Employed

  • With Summer Approaching, Where Are the Canadian Teenage Workers?

    TORONTO - May 09, 2018



    Youth Labour Force Continues to Shrink


    With summertime approaching, images come to mind of teenagers heading off to summer jobs or high school graduates searching for their first work experience. But, in reality, teenage employment is declining in Canada.

    Over the past 10 years, an increasing number of Canada's youth are opting not to participate in the labour force, denying themselves that valuable first-time job experience.










    Since 2008, Canadian teenage labour force participation has been declining, according to Statistics Canada. In 2017, only 49.5 per cent of 15- to 19-year-olds are were reported to be in the workforce, while back in 2008, 56 per cent were in the labour force. 

    What's Keeping Teenagers Away?

    What's changed? Why are fewer teenagers working? Express Employment Professionals experts identify a few trends, including increased schooling, mismatched expectations and competition with older workers for entry-level jobs.

    According to Andrea Yakub, an Express franchise manager in Kitchener, Ontario, the reason for the decline may be the types of jobs that are typically offered to youth workers. 

    "In the Kitchener area, we are seeing youth seeking employment," she said. "However, we are noticing that these students tend to be looking for the best paying job with the least amount of effort. Not many young people are interested in the labour, manufacturing and warehouse type positions. They are only looking for something specific to their future field or area of study." 

    Tim Hranka, an Express franchise owner from London, Ontario, further explains that the strong economy may be behind the trend. 

    "Since most of the jobs in our area involve a demand for full-time hours, we can't really bring in many students to fill them, given their part-time availability," he said. "Some post-secondary students can fill these roles, but it's a challenge for high school students. The demand for full-time jobs means that business is solid, but there are not many short-term assignments coming in each day."

    "The labour force continues to transform before our eyes," said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. "The decline in teenage employment in Canada is a clear and unfortunate trend. While it's certainly a sign of increased schooling, it's also an indication that work experience is invaluable."


    If you would like to arrange for an interview to discuss this topic, please contact Kellie Major at (613) 222-7488 or email

    About Bill Stoller

    William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Since its inception, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide.

    About Express Employment Professionals

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.4 billion in sales and employed a record 540,000 people in 2017. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit