Another great Ralph Goodale commentary...
YOUNG PEOPLE MAY BE BIGGEST VICTIMS
Canada cannot allow the recession to rob young people of their futures.
Job figures this summer are alarming. They show that younger people are bearing the biggest brunt of the recession right now, and that burden may be long-lasting.
According to Statistics Canada, it’s presumptuous for the Harper government to be proclaiming “the recession is over”. Another 45,000 jobs disappeared in July (including 5,000 in Saskatchewan), bringing total losses since last October to just under half-a-million.
The number of people falling back on self-employment has jumped by 75,000. The number who’ve simply given-up and dropped out of the job market altogether has gone up by 50,000. Losses in the construction industry, totaling 120,000, show the government’s “infrastructure stimulus” is falling way short.
But perhaps most troubling, more than 205,000 of all the jobs lost – close to half – are among young Canadians under 24 years of age. This means they’re not only having a tough summer, but their ability to finance their education in the fall is also being compromised.
This is a double whammy – because one key component of Canada’s recovery from recession will have to be more emphasis (not less) on the knowledge-based economy of the future.
We will not maintain our prosperity by simply trying to re-create the past.
Canada’s post-recession future will be different from what we’ve been used. More than ever, we’ll have to learn how to win in a highly competitive, skills-intensive, global economy. That means increasing our brainpower, and that will require higher levels of education for everybody.
Anything that bars young people from higher learning and more advanced skills is a big threat.
Governments need to ensure that no young Canadian is prevented from pursuing his/her legitimate educational plans this fall just because they couldn’t get a decent summer job.
-- Post From My iPhone