Canadian women graduating more, earning less
NHL legend Gordie Howe shakes hands with a recent graduate during graduation ceremonies at TCU Place in Saskatoon, on Thursday, June 3, 2010. (Liam Richards / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, September 7, 2010 10:59PM EDT
Women in Canada are more likely to graduate from high school than male students, and to graduate with a college diploma or university degree, a new report finds.
Yet, many of those same females are earning far less in the workforce than men.
The findings come from a report entitled Education Indicators in Canada, released by the Council of Education Ministers, Canada (CMEC).
The report looks at education levels across the country, while comparing Canada to the 30 other member countries of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
The report finds that Canadian females have a high school graduation rate that is eight per cent higher than men. They also have an 11 per cent higher graduation rate for college programs and 18 per cent for university degrees.
And yet, women with a post-secondary education still earned just 63 per cent the salary of similarly educated men in 2007 -- up only slightly from 61 per cent in 1998.
The report also noted that Canadians as a whole have one of the highest rates of post-secondary attendance in the developed world.
The number of adults aged 25 to 34 who have finished high school has climbed to 92 per cent, while the number of adults without a high school education dropped from 21 per cent in 1998 to 13 per cent in 2008.
About 24 per cent of the adult Canadian population had graduated from a community college, much higher than the 9.5 per cent rate across the OECD. Yet the number of Canadians with university bachelor's degrees was 34 per cent, slightly lower than the OECD average of 38 per cent.
All that education translates into increased earnings, the report confirms.
University graduates in Canada, including those with advanced degrees, earned 75 per cent more in 2007 than people with only a high-school diploma, a similar pattern as that seen across OECD countries.
The report also suggests that higher education results in more employment prospects. The employment rate for Canadians aged 25 to 64 who had not completed high school was 58 per cent in 2008, compared to 83 per cent for post-secondary graduates.
The report was developed by CMEC in partnership with Statistics Canada, through the Canadian Education Statistics Council (CESC) It is meant to expand on the data collected for OECD's flagship publication, Education at a Glance, which was released Tuesday in Paris.
The CMEC report also comes the same day as a new report from Statistics Canada, which finds that 20 per cent of 15- to 19-year-olds in Canada are no longer in school.
That's worse than the average of 15 per cent among OECD member countries in 2008. The OECD rate fell from 20 per cent in 1998.
A full 26 per cent of older Albertan teens were not in school in 2008, that report found. And among the territories, between 25 and 34 per cent of teens were out of school.