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September 25, 2021

Starting salaries for young workers not what they once were

The recession has slammed no shortage of demographics since it took hold four years ago, though who’s had it worst?

Certainly, the effects of the down economy on men, as an example, are well covered, but perhaps it’s the world’s youths that have gotten the rawest deal.

In Canada, youth unemployment is still through the roof, yet even getting a job may not mean what it once was.

A recent look at the starting salaries of young workers shows a damning nosedive from where they sat even 12 years ago.

Indeed, the latest data on starting salaries for young workers is almost a double stomach punch.

*Bing: The best way for young people to find work

Simply getting a job as a youth today is tough enough; in Canada, the unemployment rate for workers 15-24 sits at a whopping 14.8 per cent, more than double the national rate.

But after the downturn has taken hold, it also proves that once young workers manage to land employment, it’s not nearly as lucrative.

According to the Progressive Policy Institute in the U.S., earnings among young graduates with a university education start lower today than they have since Y2K.

In 2000, for instance, earnings of workers aged 25-34 with a bachelor’s degree came in around US$65,000 per year.

But a look at the chart covering the next decade-plus shows a near freefall of starting wages among those same groups.

When the downturn hit, earnings for those young workers averaged about $57,000 per year.

As the years went, down, down, down: by 2011, the latest year surveyed, young workers earned just over $54,000 per year, a dip of nearly 17 per cent since the year 2000.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...