Where is the best place in Canada to work if you're young? Is it in the country's bustling urban hubs like Toronto or Vancouver? Or quieter cities like Winnipeg and Regina? It's a tricky question to answer, well, at least it was until the Urban Work Index came to play.
The 2023 version of the study revealed the five best cities for young people to find jobs in Canada.
Each city was evaluated based on the following 10 categories:
- Good Youth Jobs
- City Economy
- Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- Education + Training
- Digital Access
- Climate Action
- Entrepreneurial Spirit
The data seems crucial, especially considering that 86% of Canadians aged 15 to 29 live in urban centres, which are becoming increasingly unaffordable.
For those reasons and more we've decided to delve into some of the key findings from the Urban Work Index on the topic by analyzing the top five cities below!
Strengths: The study placed Toronto in the top position for several reasons, but primarily due to its exceptional education opportunities. The city boasts an impressive network of 100 library branches, providing residents with extensive access to knowledge and resources. Moreover, Toronto offers the unique advantage of participating in international post-secondary exchanges across 40 countries, further enriching the educational experience for its students.
Weaknesses: Despite being top dog, Toronto currently holds the 30th rank in terms of overall affordability, marking itself as an exceptionally difficult environment for young people to thrive. Within the past five years alone, the city has witnessed a significant outflow of over 10,000 youths aged 15-29, primarily attributed to interprovincial migration.
Youth population: 564,415
Strengths: Similar to Toronto, Montreal excelled in various areas, attaining top positions in several key categories. The city claimed the first spot in terms of transportation and secured second place in education, entrepreneurial spirit, and digital access. Moreover, it ranked 9th in providing youth job opportunities, thanks to its high number of vacancies and excellent prospects for young professionals.
Weaknesses: Despite its abundance of jobs, Montreal has one of the lowest numbers of youth employment centres, showing a lack of support for people striving to succeed in the city. The city also placed 21st in terms of health, with a below-average score for the overall mental well-being of its younger population.
Youth Population: 361,705
Strengths: Vancouver solidified its position as one of the top cities by excelling in seven out of ten categories, including education, equity, diversity and inclusion, transportation, and health. It has the second-highest number of startups, totalling 5,291, and holds the record for the highest number of walking trails, 262.
Weaknesses: Still, in terms of affordability, Vancouver didn't fare much better than Toronto ranking 28th in the area, thanks to its high cost of living. It also placed 18th for good job opportunities for young people. Only 49% of young individuals are employed full time, significantly lower than the national average of 69.8%."
Youth Population: 471,410
Strengths: Small but mighty, Charlottetown secured an impressive 4th spot overall, despite competing with three major Canadian cities. The island city excelled in several categories, including good youth jobs, economy, and health, where it achieved the top ranking, thanks to its high number of family doctors per capita. Charlottetown also boasts the most electric vehicle charging points per capita, totalling 40.
Weaknesses: Charlottetown falls short in terms of its digital access and its lack of focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Individuals seeking a progressive city could wind up disappointed by the somewhat isolated environment.
Youth Population: 9,225
Strengths: The municipality of Kitchener-Waterloo has solidified itself as an attractive destination for young professionals. The region holds the 7th position for good youth jobs, thanks to its abundance of opportunities, fair salaries, and support for job seekers. It also ranked 5th in terms of economy, further emphasizing the area's abundance of employment prospects and economic stability.
Weaknesses: Sadly, despite its economic accomplish the city lags in terms of affordability, with an average debt per person of $166,000, and transportation.
Youth population: 112,430