Summer Jobs in Canada – A Few Figures

Summer jobs in Canada – The Labour Force Survey (LFS), lead by Statistics Canada every year about summer jobs market for students,  collects from May to August labour market data about youths aged 15 to 24 who intend to return school full time in the fall.

Those students who decide to work 

While some follow summer courses, volunteer, travel or turn down an inflexible and poorly paid job, 64% of students surveyed in June 2016 were working or seeking a summer job.

This average masks some differences during the last 5 years based on the following criteria, however:

  • Sex: 70% of female students were working compared to 66.6% of male students;
  • Province: ranging from 75.7% for Alberta to 63.1% for Quebec;
  • Programs of study: while 77% of students in health and related services worked during the summer, only 61% did for students in mathematics and computer programs.

In some cases, a summer job was insufficient: 25.4% of students surveyed take 2 jobs and 5% take 3 or more. Often, a student must accumulate jobs, since his wage income is low (humanities, life sciences, visual and performing arts), unlike students in architecture, business, engineering and computer science, who can settle for a single summer job.

Is it easy or hard to find a summer job in Canada ? 

Some significant disparities exist,  still based on criteria:

  • Sex: female students seems to have less difficulties finding a summer job;
  • Province: the Quebec student population found the search more difficult compared to the Ontario student population, which found it much easier.
  • Programs: opportunities are not the same for students in business and social sciences or for those in visual and performing arts, in healthcare, or architects and engineers .

The 2016 CPA Canada Youth Summer Jobs Survey, conducted in June 2016 with a national random sample of 1,0102 adult Canadians 1 012 jeunes canadiens reveals the following:

Approximately one-in-three respondents agree that today’s youth don’t have access to high quality summer jobs (33%)
32% agree summer jobs available today do not adequately prepare youth to enter workforce

Summer jobs doesn’t always mean paid jobs

Self – employment is still a possibility, and it can be combined with a paid job. Students who chose to be self-employed work on average 19 hours per week – compared to 40 hours for the paid job. Entrepreneurship is more often chosen for work time flexibility and for income level. “Student-entrepreneurs”, are generally in the arts, teaching and educational services, while they are not a lot in business and in services.

Work, but at what price ?

A distinction in hourly rate can be noted at different levels: sex, age and provinces have an important impact. Programs of study make also vary the income level.

As an example, a student working in a public administration will earn between $12.93 et $ 23.78 depending the academic level (from college / Cegep, to a Doctorate) and depending the administration step (Step 1 to Step 8).
For secondary level students the following rates apply: between $10.91  and $11.88 depending the step (Step 1 to step 4).

Engineering and new technologies students could receive an hourly salary from $18.20 to $21.75 depending their level, while students in chemicals, biologics would have around a $14 hourly rate (up to 18.25$), and those in mathematics (actuarial)up to $27  (average of $23.46).

(Data collected from UdM, Éts and Student Rates of Pay, Statistics Canada, Effective May 1st. 2017)


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