John Howard Society of Belleville

What happens to youth without a high school diploma?

There are lots of reasons youth need a high school diploma and lots of reasons this is important for our whole community. The issue might start with youth, but it doesn’t end there.

Check out some information and read some reports about why it’s important and everyone in our community should care about graduation rates.

Employment Rates for Youth Without a High School Diploma

-As of 2015, youth (15-24) without a high school diploma had an employment rate of 53.9% while youth who obtained a high school diploma and then proceeded to post-secondary education had an employment rate of 86.2%. (1)

-In 2015, 12.6% or 860,000 youth aged 15-24 were unemployed, not in school or training, were looking for work or had left the work force completely. (1)

-2018 reports indicate that now 13.6% of youth aged 15-24 are currently unemployed. In 3 years we have seen a 1% increase in unemployment in Canada for youth with that number expected to rise due to a shifting and demanding work force requiring higher education, qualifications, and innovation. (2)

-In 2010 it was reported that the average Canadian without a high school diploma earned approximately 80% less than their counterpart who had earned a diploma. (3)

-44% of Crown Wards drop out of high school, compared to an 81% graduation rate for the general population. (4)

-Identified by CMHA, individuals who are unemployed are affected by a number of factors that can affect your well-being including (5)

  • Higher stress
  • Lower self esteem
  • Fear about the future
  • Social isolation
  • Stigma
  • Increased risk of problematic substance abuse
  • Increased risk of mental health
  • Worsening of mental health issues