New Brunswick will decrease its provincial youth unemployment rate so that it is equal to or less than the national rate by 2024.
In 2018, the unemployment rate for New Brunswick youth aged 15-24 was 12.8%, while the national rate was 11.1%. This represents a 1.7% gap, which was a decrease from the 1.9% gap in 2017. However, this drop is not necessarily a good thing.
A decrease in unemployment rate may be the result of an increase in youth employment, a decrease in unemployed youth who are looking for work, or a combination of both. Currently, a large number of unemployed youth are leaving the province due to a shortage of work. This takes them out of the labour market, effectively lowering the unemployment rate.
Youth employment is important to New Brunswick because it enables the entry of skilled workers into productive divisions of the economy. Youth employment also encourages social integration and intergenerational dialogue, influencing social development.
Youth employment in New Brunswick can be increased by growing the job market. This would result in a lower unemployment rate as more unemployed youth would find work. Youth employment can also be increased by reducing the number of unemployed youth who have been looking for work for a year or more. Furthermore, improving job quality can also increase youth employment. For example, by allowing more flexibility between part-time and full-time rolls.