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fizkes/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The biggest financial challenge facing young adults today has nothing to do with astronomically expensive housing markets in some cities. It's something much more alarming – a job market that too often keeps them marginalized in jobs below their education or skill level.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said in a recent speech that the tough job market for young people is one of the things that keeps him up at night. He said the percentage of people aged 15 to 24 who are participating in the work force is at the lowest level in almost 20 years. Those who are working often have temporary jobs, or they're employed outside their chosen careers doing things like serving coffee or making deliveries.

A young freelance writer and editor recently wrote in The Walrus about his experience in the work force. The title was "What Being a Bike Courier Taught Me About Our Broken Economy." At one point, he runs into a recent engineering grad who is also making deliveries. This engineer had a six-month contract after graduation but hasn't found anything since.

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Now for a 35-year-old's take. Rent consumes nearly half his income and he hasn't had a steady job in ages. "We are delaying partner-marrying and house-buying and kid-having for longer than any previous generation," he writes. Read this great multimedia essay for a thorough analysis of what millennials are up against, but mind the creative use profanity.

Subscribe to Carrick on Money
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Rob's personal finance reading list…

Five coming changes to the CPP
These small adjustments were announced late in 2017 and concern parents who take time out of the work force to raise children. There are also changes to the CPP survivor's benefit.

A frugal person's guide to spending
A begrudging spender writes about the purchases that have given her the most satisfaction. Worth a read as we move on from the part of the year when we tend to spend more than usual.

How to save on life's biggest costs
Tips focused on housing, food and transportation. A useful read for families.

Oprah hasn't been to a bank in 29 years
A fun look at celebrity money handlers and all the bizarre and mundane tasks they're asked to perform for their rich and oh-so-busy clients.

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Today's featured financial tool
Get an idea of how much income tax you'll owe for 2017 by using this calculator. Data for all provinces and territories.

Ask Rob
The question: "I haven't found a definitive answer to the following: When a company declares a 3 per cent dividend, what is it 3 per cent of?"

The answer: Companies declare dividends in a dollars-and-cents amount. That amount expressed as a percentage of the share price is the yield. So a $100 stock paying an annualized dividend of $3 has a yield of 3 per cent.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance stories
– Retirement expert Malcolm Hamilton explains how he prepared for his own retirement

– Worried parents buying homes for school-aged kids, a move experts warn comes with pitfalls

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– Everything you wanted to know about tax-free savings accounts (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

More Carrick and money coverage
For more money stories, follow me on Twitter and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

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