CANADA: The summer of student discontent

Canadian Laura McGhie was pretty certain by last autumn that her well-paying summer job was history. For the past two years, the McMaster University student had spent her holiday working on the shop floor of US Steel's Lake Erie works, writes Elizabeth Church in The Globe and Mail. The collapse of Ontario's manufacturing sector put an end to that. Instead, McGhie is working two jobs on campus now and figures she's making less than half the money. Still, she counts herself lucky. Students are coping with the worst summer job market in more than a decade, leaving many scrambling to find often low-paying jobs.

Youth employment rates have tanked since October, falling faster than any other age group. Recent numbers from Statistics Canada offer little hope for improvement. The unemployment rate for students between the ages of 20 and 24 hit 14% in June and rose to 18% for those aged 17 to 19, the highest level since 1998.

The drop in summer earnings, coupled with strained family finances, is expected to leave many students struggling to make ends meet when they return to campus in September. University and student leaders are predicting a rise in demand for student aid, with some schools making financial assistance a top priority for their fundraising efforts and others beefing up the services they offer to help students land jobs.
Full report on the Globe and Mail site