The High Education / Low Income Paradox: College and University Graduates with Low Earnings, Ontario, 2006 - ARCHIVED
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International comparisons show that the percentage of both college- and university-educated workers who earn less than half of the median employment income is higher than in Canada than in most, if not all, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Data from Statistics Canada's Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID) show that 18% of university-educated adults and 23% of college-educated adults aged 25 to 64 in Canada earned less than half the national median employment income in 2006.
This study uses descriptive statistics and logistic regression techniques in order to shed light on the type of highly educated worker who is likely to fall into lower employment earnings, taking into account a range of characteristics, including age, sex, field of study, occupation and industry. While all of the workers in the study population had non-zero employment earnings, many of them reported an activity other than working as their main activity for the year, a key factor in explaining their low-earnings situation. Other factors associated with having a college or university education while also having low employment earnings include being self-employed, working in certain occupations or industries and being female.