November 2022

Spotlight on data and research

Youth life satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic in cross-national comparison

Low life satisfaction among Canadian youth increased during the pandemic years, but at a much lower rate than youth in other countries. This study found that from 2018 to 2021, low life satisfaction increased from 1.4% to 2.3% for youth aged 15 to 30 in Canada, while it tripled in the United Kingdom, from 6.1% to 18.6%, and went from 2.7% to 25.4% among youth in Ireland. In contrast, the proportion of youth in Germany with low life satisfaction in 2021 (8.7%) was similar to that in 2018 (9.0%).

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Unionization in Canada, 1981 to 2022

The percentage of employees who are union members fell from 38% in 1981 to 29% in 2022, a drop of 9 percentage points. Two-thirds of the decline took place from 1981 to 1997 and the remaining third took place from 1997 to 2022. Not all groups of workers experienced a decline in unionization, however. Unionization rates fell by 16 percentage points among men but remained stable among women. Since unionized jobs tend to pay relatively high wages and to be covered by registered pension plans (RPPs) more often than other jobs, these diverging trends in unionization likely affected the Canadian wage structure and the RPP coverage of various segments of the workforce .

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Research articles

Does taking short postsecondary programs or independent credits benefit recently displaced workers?

Pursuing short postsecondary programs after job loss can potentially lead to increased average annual earnings. This study documents the earnings growth associated with various educational strategies of displaced workers. Individuals who obtained a college or CEGEP certificate (usually a one-year commitment) shortly after job loss saw their average annual earnings grow by more than $7,000, from $35,900 one year prior to the layoff, to $43,100 five years after the layoff (all figures expressed in 2019 dollars).

Those who obtained a college or CEGEP diploma (normally a two or three-year commitment) registered an average increase of almost $10,000 in annual earnings over the same period (from $34,200 to $43,800). In contrast, displaced workers who completed a micro-credential, which is shorter in length than a certificate or diploma, registered a relatively small increase in earnings, roughly $1,300.

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