A recent study released by Statistics Canada has revealed that the wage gap between a college or a university degree graduate and a high school diploma holder is narrowing.
According to the federal data agency, while high school graduates are making wage gains, the wages earned by post-secondary school degree holders are either remaining flat or decreasing (as in the case of male post-secondary school degree holders). This showed that education did not lead to greater increases in wages, for the short-term at least.
Statistics Canada studied the data on the earnings of the two groups for two different time periods – from 2000 to 2002 and then, from 2010 to 2012. Between these two periods, males having a high school diploma as their highest level of education registered an increase in wages of nine percent. Similarly, women belonging to the same educational group showed an increase of 11 percent in their salaries.
In comparison, the data agency found that the average real hourly wages of young male bachelor’s degree holders remained unchanged, even as their female counterparts registered an increase in their average real hourly wages of five percent.
Experts – like public policy professor Ken Coates – felt that this study revealed that people placed undue emphasis on the knowledge economy, which had not resulted in the creation of many knowledge-based jobs. As a result, the country’s natural resource economy, along with the service industry, had been responsible for powering the country’s growth.
The study also revealed that post-secondary degree holders continued to earn more than their lesser-educated peers did, but not by much. Data showed that for every $1 earned by a male degree holder between 2010 and 2012, a high school graduate earned 75 cents – a marginal rise from 68 cents in the previous decade.
Similarly, for every $1 earned by a female college or university degree holder, a female high school graduate earned 78 cents – up from 74 cents a decade ago. Statistics Canada attributes a third of the narrowing of the wage gap for women to the fact that many provinces have increased their minimum wages.
While the data agency declared that individuals with a higher education had a greater likelihood of having jobs, high school graduates were doing comparatively better in terms of salary growth, even though few high school graduates preferred sticking to just a high school diploma, without looking to pursue a higher education.
Source: CBC News