YouthfulCities has published its 2019 Urban Work Index, which analyzes various criteria to rank Canada’s cities on their attractiveness and commitment to young workers.
The YouthfulCities study of Canada’s best cities for young workers is based on 4 broadcategories divided into sub-themes: affordability (clothing/food, recreation, health,
housing, transport and public services), education (access, affordability, learning integrated in the workplace), entrepreneurship (access to the entrepreneurial space,
entrepreneurial spirit, government attitude towards entrepreneurship), and finally employment (basic job, career job, the city’s economic profile and employment
programs). It all provides a global view and a mark out of 1,310 points.
Why these criteria? As Valerie Chort, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship, RBC, and partner with YouthfulCities for the Urban Work Index, explains in the preface, “The reality of work is evolving, and we know that the employment possibilities that will be offered to young people in the future will be very different from those of today. […] We also know that education, training and work experience play a fundamental role in the life of young people, as they pave the way to success.”
The Top 5: Edmonton in the lead
Out of the 21 cities involved, Edmonton dominates the ranking, winning just over 713 points thanks to affordable transportation and education. However, the study highlights a potential for improvement in other branches of education, including integration of learning in the workplace. The silver medal returns to Montreal, where the cost of housing and recreation is one of the most interesting in the country, but still with efforts to be made on entrepreneurship. Ottawa comes next, with assets such as affordable public services and a strong mark for basic employment, but also with weaknesses in entrepreneurship. Fourth place goes to Sudbury, which is not very attractive in terms of the general economic profile, but unbeatable for housing and recreation. Kitchener/Waterloo concludes the Top 5 with advantages such as the high number of basic jobs and a decent and affordable level of education.
The rest of the ranking includes, in order, Hamilton, Quebec City, Mississauga, Victoria, Toronto, St. John’s, Moncton, Calgary, Oshawa, Kelowna, Vancouver, Yellowknife, Charlottetown, Saskatoon, Halifax and Winnipeg.
Ranking by category
Depending on the criteria examined, the results can vary, with each city having its own strengths and weaknesses. So for affordability on its own, Sudbury ranks first, followed by Kitchener/Waterloo, Oshawa, Ottawa and Hamilton. For education, St. John’s comes first, then Victoria, Quebec City, Montreal and Winnipeg. Montreal, Yellowknife, Victoria, Vancouver and Halifax lead for employment. Finally, if we take only entrepreneurship into account, the winners are Yellowknife, Toronto, Montreal, Saskatoon and Edmonton.