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A foot in the door: Education and employment

A foot in the door: Education and employment

Posted on: 9/20/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team


We highlighted the link between higher education and higher pay yesterday. Having a post-secondary credential is also linked to having a job in the first place.

According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, the employment rate in 2017 of Albertans age 25 and over was 68 per cent. In other words, just over two-thirds of Albertans in this age group had a job. The proportion drops off precipitously to just 29 per cent among Albertans with zero to eight years of education.

Completing high school pushes up the employment rate to 64 per cent while the highest employment rates found among those who have completed post-secondary. Seven in 10 Albertans age 25 to 64 with a trade certificate or college diploma were employed in 2017; it’s almost eight in 10 for Albertans with a university degree.

Not everyone wants to work or needs to work, but for those who do, the likelihood of being employed increases with education. The unemployment rate reinforces this. Just 5.6 per cent of Albertans with university degrees who wanted to work could not find a job in 2017. The unemployment rate rises to 6.8 per cent for those with a post-secondary certificate or diploma below the university level (in large part because of reduced demand for tradespeople in the oil and gas sector since the recession of 2015-16) but is highest among those who haven’t completed a post-secondary program (between 8.4 per cent and 11.6 per cent).

Dig deeper into this topic by listening to Perch, the podcast. It’s where ATB’s economics and research team is connecting with the experts, influencers and big thinkers who are shaping Alberta.

Join host and director of insight, Rob Roach as he brings the facts to life and subscribe to hear future series on the many different topics that impact our province’s economy.

Perch2, graph​ ​​

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