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

The Weed Warrior: an invasive weed, new to the East Kootenay

Wild Parsnip is a plant that most of us don’t want to have a Close Encounter of any Kind with

Kimberley Arts Council keeping the arts alive during pandemic

Cewntre 64 is Kimberley remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but… Continue reading

Selkirk graduation in Kimberley will look very different this year

We have all had to change things in the face of the… Continue reading

Council to write letter of support for Kimberley Dynamiters

KIJHL teams all seeking financial support from the provincial government in wake of COVID-19

City Hall reopens Monday, June 1 with new safety measures in place

After carefully plotting out how and when to re-open its facilities while… Continue reading

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read