People make their way through the Financial District along Montgomery Street Friday, Oct. 18, 2019, in San Francisco. A new study is offering what it calls a rare look at the health and psychological impacts endured by Canadian youth who fall into the demographic category of not employed or not studying. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Eric Risberg

Canadian young people not employed or in school face poorer mental, physical health

The results were based on surveys of 13,270 participants between 2015 and 2017

A new study is offering what it calls a rare look at the health and psychological impacts endured by Canadian youth who are not working, training or studying.

The Statistics Canada research said 11.1 per cent of young people, aged 18 to 29 years old, found themselves in this situation and, therefore, were at risk of persistent social and economic challenges. The results were based on surveys of 13,270 participants between 2015 and 2017.

These young people, the report said, were more likely to have poorer mental and physical health, suicidal thoughts and lower levels of life satisfaction.

The examination’s focus was on Canadian youth who were “not in employment, education or training” — a classification also known by its acronym NEET.

The issues related to youth NEET have become a global concern, catching the attention of social scientists and policy-makers around the world.

“The NEET rate among Canadian youth has remained relatively stable at around 13 per cent for the past two decades, and youth NEET are considered to be at risk for a multitude of long-term economic and social difficulties,” said the study, co-authored by Jordan Davidson and Rubab Arim.

“The results from this study allow for a critical examination of the diverse experiences of youth NEET and stimulate future research questions that can help to better understand NEET status among Canadian youth.”

By some measures, the number of young Canadians defined as NEET has been estimated at close to 1 million. For example, a separate 2017 report on youth employment for the federal government said that 860,000 youth were in this category in 2015, representing 12.6 of Canada’s youth population.

Young people classified as NEET may be at risk of becoming isolated, said the report by the federal government’s expert panel on youth employment.

The Statistics Canada study, published last Friday, said most youth NEET research in Canada has focused on socio-demographic characteristics and the shift from studies to work. As a result, ”relatively little is known about the psychological well-being” of Canadian youth NEET, the authors wrote.

The research sought to address this by laying out a psychological profile of youth NEET, based on data from Canadian Community Health Survey results.

In the study, youth NEET were divided into three sub-groups — 38 per cent of them reported they were looking for paid work, 27.5 per cent said they were caring for children and 34.5 per cent were categorized as “other.”

The “other” group included people who reported their main activities as something like volunteering or household work. Some reported having a long-term illness or disability.

In most categories, the study found that the respondents who reported caring for children as their main activity had similar results to non-NEET youth. Those classified in the “other” category had consistently poorer characteristics, the research found.

Here are some of the Canadian findings:

— Mental health: 13.8 per cent of youth NEET reported poor or fair mental health, compared with 7.8 per cent of non-NEET.

— Suicide: 23.7 per cent of youth NEET said they seriously contemplated suicide, compared with 14.9 per cent of non-NEET.

— Social well-being: 33.2 per cent of youth NEET said they were very satisfied with their lives, compared with 39.7 per cent of non-NEET.

— Physical health: 55.9 per cent of youth NEET reported very good or excellent physical health, compared with 72 per cent of non-NEET.

— Education: 38.9 per cent of youth NEET had completed post-secondary education, compared with 53.1 per cent of non-NEET.

— Income: 40.9 per cent of youth NEET were living in households in the lowest income quintile, compared with 22.5 per cent of non-NEET.

ALSO READ: B.C.’s tuition waiver program for former youth in care continues to grow

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

L’Arche Comox Valley community reeling over findings of inquiry into founder

The local L’Arche community is reeling in the wake of a report… Continue reading

Comox Valley Waldorf School closing

The Comox Valley Waldorf School (CVWS) is familiar with change. It has… Continue reading

Comox Valley students sparkle with gold at Skills Canada event

Valley secondary students captured gold in 13 of the 20 different trades and technology-based events.

VIU students pitch planning projects to Cumberland

Students looked at topics such as historical values and parking issues

Comox Valley ends tough VIJHL season with a win

Glacier Kings more than double last year’s win total but miss post-season

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

Canadian L’Arche group shocked by report that founder sexually abused women

A report by a French-based charity that helps people who are developmentally… Continue reading

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read