VANCOUVER, B.C. – Young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 saw the highest unemployment rates of any age group during the pandemic, according to a new report.

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control released a report Friday on the impacts the pandemic has had on the health and wellbeing of young adults. The report was commissioned by Dr. Reka Gustaffson of the Provincial Health Services Authority with contributions from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer.

Data shows the unemployment rate among young adults tripled during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, the report suggests sweeping disruptions to post-secondary education in 2020-2021 may have long-term impacts on career trajectory and employment.

One participant in the BC Speak focus group detailed the significant impacts of the pandemic.

“[I] lost my new job that would have provided medical and travel benefits. My partner did not get to become certified for his new job truck driving. This will take us longer to build credit and buy a house. [I’m] not able to save tips from [my] bartending gig. This has been hard on my mental health, [with] no breaks from children.”

The result of the report, Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults in British Columbia, “provides 32 recommendations to improve young people’s social, economic, and health outcomes as they emerge from the pandemic,” says a release.

According to the findings of the report:

“We are at a point in our COVID-19 recovery where we have the opportunity to counteract the disproportionate challenges and disparities faced by young adults during the pandemic,” said Dr. Gustafson.

“We now have the research that shows that additional short and long-term support can help young adults as they re-establish their social connections, finances, careers, and secure their futures.”

The report highlights four areas that a post-pandemic recovery must address for young adults:

A full copy of the report can be found on the BC CDC website.