Nine short months ago, the clever people running the show in Europe suggested a number of measures including “unpaid work for the young and unemployed up to 24 years old, so that companies would have a strong motive to hire young employees”‘Unpaid’ work sounded a lot like slavery to us then but it seems the arrogance is contagious as Canada – that bastion of freedom – suggests that the employment situation is so bad that young people should consider working for free. As The Globe & Mail reports, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said ‘Adult children stuck in their parents’ basements because they can’t find adequate employment should take unpaid work to bolster résumés as they wait for the recovery to take hold’.

Here is Europe in January, the Centre of planning and Economic Research in Greece has proposed a controversial measure in order to deal with the problem of increasing unemployment in the country.

The measure includes unpaid work for the young and unemployed up to 24 years old, so that companies would have a strong motive to hire young employees. Practically, what is proposed is the abolition of the basic salary for a year. At the same time the “export” of young unemployed persons was also proposed to other countries abroad, as Greek businesses do not appear able to hire new personnel.

And here is Canada today (via The Globe and Mail),

How bad are things in Canada’s job market? Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says bad enough for young people to consider working for free.

Adult children stuck in their parents’ basements because they can’t find adequate employment should take unpaid work to bolster résumés as they wait for the recovery to take hold, Poloz said Monday in Toronto.

The Bank of Canada estimates about 200,000 young people want to work or work more, and Poloz said they may be scarred by prolonged unemployment that prevents them from moving out on their own. He said he’s been asked for advice on how young people can find work.

“Having something unpaid on your CV is very worth it, because that’s the one thing you can do to counteract this scarring effect,” Poloz told reporters was his advice to discouraged youth.

And now Canada shifts to the US “slack” model…

Job market indicators suggest there’s significant slack in the economy even with an unemployment rate that has fallen to the lowest in six years, Poloz said.

“The unemployment rate as it is today overstates the amount of improvement we’ve actually had because in the background there are discouraged worker effects,” Poloz told reporters after the speech.

 …

“Unlike workers with experience who lost jobs during the recession, youth who couldn’t find work during the recession face a much greater challenge,” she said in an e-mail Tuesday. “With little to no experience and major gaps in their resume, they must compete every year for entry-level positions against a new cohort of starry-eyed bushy-tailed recent grads.”

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As we concluded previously, whether it’s Europe in the 1930’s or the US during the same period (conflicts between strikers, the National Guard and armed militias), unemployment can create a powerful cocktail of unrest.

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So a reminder for Canada’s elites, turning your nation’s young into slaves does not seem like a good solution to us…

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We can’t help but see the irony that one hand we have the US president demanding raising minimum wage (i.e raising the cost of labor for those on the margin of employment) as Canada’s leadership see unpaid work (i.e. cutting the cost of labor) as a way to grow employment…


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