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Side menu bar Catalogue Number 75-001-XIE Table of contents Latest issue News from The Daily Latest data Survey information Back issues Feedback Studies Latest issue in PDF

June 2006
Vol. 7, no. 6

Perspectives on Labour and Income

Education and earnings
Lucy Chung

  • Over the last 25 years, technological advancement has increased the need for highly educated workers. In 2005, 72% of Canadians aged 25 to 34 had some type of postsecondary education, compared with 54% in 1980.
  • As a result of strong commodity and real estate markets, the past five years have seen a shift from white-collar to blue-collar jobs, where young people with less education are more often employed. Although this change does not appear to have boosted the overall employment rate of young, less-educated men, it may have mitigated any further downward pressure on their employment rates.
  • Coinciding with the recent movement toward blue-collar jobs, average real earnings have increased more for young, less-educated men than for any other group. (Men with a university degree actually saw theirs decline.) Nevertheless, the real earnings of these men are still below their 1980 levels, and the gap between them and their university-educated counterparts is still large.

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Lucy Chung is with the Distributive Trades Division. She can be reached at (613) 951-1903 or

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