Edmonton ranks as top city in Canada for youth employment

Calgary 13th in an index that measures a variety of factors, including education, entrepreneurship and affordability

Edmonton is rated as the top city for youth to work in the inaugural YouthfulCities Urban Work Index, the first of its kind to look specifically at urban work in Canada

Calgary ranked 13th.

The index, which was released on Monday, was funded by RBC Future Launch and ranks 21 Canadian cities based on 48 urban work indicators.

Robert Barnard
Robert Barnard

“As Canada’s population ages, we need to make sure our cities are vibrant places for youth to work,” said YouthfulCities co-founder Robert Barnard in a news release.

“Using this new index as inspiration, we have a challenge for Canada and Canadian cities: make full youth employment (youth unemployment below six per cent) a goal by 2024. Clearly, we can, and we need to do more. We need to spark a national dialogue on the future of urban work and youth’s critical role in it.”

Canadian cities were ranked out of a total 1,310 points based on scores on 48 urban work indicators. The results are:

  1. Edmonton (713.86)
  2. Montreal (708.13)
  3. Ottawa (697.91)
  4. Sudbury (681.52)
  5. Kitchener/Waterloo (665.63)
  6. Hamilton (655.40)
  7. Quebec City (645.90)
  8. Mississauga (641.81)
  9. Victoria (635.37)
  10. Toronto (622.60)
  11. St. John’s (620.34)
  12. Moncton (614.50)
  13. Calgary (600.69)
  14. Kelowna (583.77)
  15. Vancouver (571.00)
  16. Oshawa/Durham (560.77)
  17. Yellowknife (555.35)
  18. Charlottetown (541.73)
  19. Saskatoon (540.73)
  20. Halifax (535.75)
  21. Winnipeg (488.55)

The index looked at a number of factors: education (affordability, access, work-integrated learning experiences), entrepreneurship (spirit, spaces, programming), affordability (housing, utilities, transportation, food/clothing, leisure, health) and employment (basic, career-oriented, city economic profile, programs).

Valerie Chort
Valerie Chort

“Canada’s job market is changing and we have a collective opportunity to help young people prepare for, and navigate the ambiguities of the future,” said Valerie Chort, vice-president of corporate citizenship at RBC.

“The Urban Work Index aims to expand the dialogue around urban work to include government, educators, public sector, not-for-profits and most importantly young people. The index is not a list of winners and losers, instead it provides a closer look at the opportunities that exist within our urban centres. It helps validate the investments we’re already making in our communities and suggests where more support is needed.”

The report said Edmonton’s greatest strength was its consistency, with a number of top-10 finishes across all four themes.

“While there is room for improvement across the board, all 21 cities ranked near the top in one or more indicators. Let’s use that as a great starting place to build from,” added Barnard.

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business


youth employment

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