For most Canadians, one of the primary activities of adult life is participation in the paid work force. However, not all Canadians seeking work are able to find it, a reality that is reflected in national unemployment data. In July 2005, the unemployment rate in Canada was 6.8%. According to the definition used by Statistics Canada, an individual is considered unemployed if he or she has been without work and has been actively seeking work in the four weeks prior to data collection.
It has been said that the national unemployment rate calculated by Statistics Canada is an underestimate since it fails to account for individuals in these situations.
In addition to providing a source of income, employment can improve mental, physical and social health. Employment provides a sense of identity, purpose, social contacts and an opportunity for personal growth.
2. Canadian Public Health Association. Board of Directors Discussion Paper. Health impacts of social and economic conditions: Implications for public policy. 2001. Ottawa, Canadian Public Health Association