Millennials in Canada: Young Workers in a Challenging Labour Market

  • Eddy S. Ng
  • Sean T. Lyons
  • Linda Schweitzer


The cohort of young workers born between 1980 and 1995 has been given a wide range of labels by various authors and commentators, including “Millennials” (Strauss and Howe 1991), “Generation Y” (Johnson and Johnson 2010),“Gen Me” (Twenge 2006), “Nexters” (Zemke et al. 2000), “the next great generation” (Howe and Strauss 2000), and the “nexus generation” (Barnard et al. 1998). In recent years, they have earned an unfortunate new moniker: “generation screwed” (Girod and Shapiro 2012). This epithet conveys an image of a generation facing an uncertain future with bleak prospects of quality permanent employment, rising levels of personal debt, and an inability to maintain the quality of life afforded by their parents (Carbone and Cahn 2014). The current narrative in the mass media and popular press suggests that despite high levels of education and technological skills, Millennials across the developed world are plagued by high levels of unemployment and underemployment (Foster 2012). If this characterization is correct, persistent high unemployment rates could create social and economic problems such as long-term (structural) unemployment, widespread low-quality jobs, and a loss of confidence among young workers (ILO 2013).


Labour Market Baby Boomer Young Worker Youth Unemployment Extrinsic Reward 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eddy S. Ng
    • 1
  • Sean T. Lyons
    • 2
  • Linda Schweitzer
    • 3
  1. 1.Dalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.University of GuelphGuelphCanada
  3. 3.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada

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