• Description

The economic impact of opportunity youth is felt by the youth themselves, by taxpayers, and across all society. Opportunity youth are less likely to be employed and more likely to rely on government supports. They are in worse health and are more likely to be involved in criminal activity. Purely from an economic perspective -- leaving aside important questions of social equity -- opportunity is being lost on a large scale. The aggregate economic losses associated with opportunity youth are enormous. There are immediate losses during youth and there are long-term losses as these youth fail to prosper. These losses can be calculated from various perspectives: for the taxpayer and for society; by youth subgroups; by level of government; and for individual communities. To avoid perpetuating these losses over current and future cohorts it is critical to understand the policy context for opportunity youth.