Youth unemployment in Mississauga and Brampton more than twice the provincial average as committee looks to tackles poverty problems

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Published November 8, 2021 at 4:20 pm

The Region of Peel is looking for ways to help kids and youth rise above the poverty line in

According to a report going to Regional Council on Thursday, 18 per cent of children 17-years-old or younger in the Region of Peel live in poverty.

The report is from the Peel Poverty Reduction Committee (PPRC) and found the combined unemployment rate in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon as of July 2021 was 10.5 per cent – that’s more than 2 per cent higher than the provincial average of 8.5 per cent.

And while those numbers are high, they pale in comparison to an unemployment rate of 27.8 per cent for youth in Peel between 15 and 24-years-old, which is more than double the provincial average of 13.6 per cent.

The report also found children and youth in the Region have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

To help develop a strategy to combat youth poverty, the committee is looking to enlist four youth representatives through partnerships with the Peel Boys and Girls Club (BCG Peel), Sheridan College and local school boards.

The Region is also supporting the creation of a youth-led advisory table to ensure that the voices of youth are included in the poverty reduction work in Peel.

The committee is also working on research projects with Tamarack Institute and the University of Toronto to better understand the pandemic’s economic and social impacts, and remove systemic barriers that make it harder for Peel residents to move out of poverty.

As the cost of living in Peel communities continues to rise, tackling poverty and a lack of affordable housing remain priorities for Regional Council.

The PPRC says nearly 176,000 Peel residents live in poverty, making up 12.8 per cent of the population in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.

Current housing prices are unaffordable for 80% of households in Peel, and a two-income minimum wage household needs to save for 51 years to afford down payment and closing costs.

According to a list by the Ontario Living Wage Network, Peel Region has a living wage rate at $19.80 per hour, which is some 28 per cent higher than the provincial minimum wage of $14.35.

The PPRC is made up of more than eighty partners working to reduce the impact of poverty in the Region of Peel.

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