Data Check: Salary gap advantage for university grads declines

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According to a recent analysis by Statistics Canada, the salaries of Canadians who have attained a bachelor degree are more than a third higher than those who did not pursue further education after high school. However, the difference in earnings has narrowed over the past decade.
After adjustments for work experience, salary advantage for male university grads fell from 43 to 37 per cent between 2000 and 2011. Women with bachelors’ degrees earn significantly more than their high-school graduate counterparts, but their educational advantage also declined from 62 to 55 per cent.
The trend was more pronounced for workers aged 25 to 34. The report does not indicate the results for women, but men in that age group who had trade certificates saw their real wages grow by 14 per cent. Those with a high school diplomas experienced real wage increases of seven per cent, while the increase was just one per cent for bachelor degree holders.
The report suggests that employment contraction in the telecom sector after the tech bubble burst in 2001, and strong growth in the construction and resource and commodity sectors may account for these trends. It does not account for the implications of rising educational costs, such as rising tuition fees and increasing reliance on student loans.
Statistics Canada, Wage Growth over the Past 30 Years: Changing Wages by Age and Education, by René Morissette, Garnett Picot, and Yuqian Lu

This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.

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