Taking Notes: Eye on Education – University and Earnings

Taking Notes: Eye on Education – University and Earnings

This column focuses on a wide range of issues affecting post-secondary students. Students are encouraged to submit suggestions and educational topics they are concerned about, or personal experiences with courses or university situations they feel other students should know about. If suggest a topic or a course alert for taking notes, contact djabbour@ausu.org


A recent Statistics Canada survey seems to indicate that better education is not a guarantee of higher wages. This study of low-paid labour trends indicates that, although the proportion of adult workers with university degrees increased 10 percent between 1981 and 2004, the number of adult employees earning less than $10 an hour dropped only one percent.

The situation was worse for men aged 25 to 34 with a high school diploma only, -as their wages declined on average some 20 percent over the1981 to 2004 time period. It appears that even though a university education will not guarantee more money, a lower education level leaves workers at a greater disadvantage.

Analysts suggest there is a general worldwide trend towards lower wages, as companies try to stay competitive globally and technology lowers the demand for less-educated workers. Since 1981, wages for workers aged 16-74 have only increased by about six percent overall. For women, the situation is even worse with approximately 25 percent of working females under 40 earning low wages and living in poverty in 2000. The comparable figure for men is approximately 17 percent.


CanWest News Service (2005, May 4). Education no guarantee of higher-paying job. Retrieved May 8, 2005, from http://www.canada.com/search/story.html?id=de0c6f1a-92fb-46d4-91dd-0e0d82a37028