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At the height of the boom in Alberta, wages rose across all industries. A Burger King in Fort McMurray offered $14 an hour in 2006. (TODD KOROL/REUTERS)
At the height of the boom in Alberta, wages rose across all industries. A Burger King in Fort McMurray offered $14 an hour in 2006. (TODD KOROL/REUTERS)

The Roundup

Education Ticker: Resource salaries don’t reflect qualifications Add to ...

The best of the web on education from kindergarten to postsecondary, as chosen by Globe and Mail education editor Simona Chiose.

Gap between university and trades wages narrowing

With the skills gap likely to be addressed in the upcoming federal budget, training for jobs in the trades could become somewhat easier. But high-school students should take a close look at a paper released Friday by Statistics Canada. In spite of big wage gains for people with trades certification, the salary differences between them and those with a bachelor’s degree are still striking.

From 2000 to 2011, the wages of all men with a B.A. increased by 2.7 per cent while those with trades certificates saw their salaries rise by 7.2 per cent. (Interestingly, over more recent recessionary years it was university-educated workers older than 35 who saw their average wages decline more than workers 17 to 34).

Who makes more money though? Male B.A.-holders still earn 41 per cent more than those with fewer credentials (down from 47 in 2000). The gap for women is even greater, though shrinking: 55 per cent in 2011 down from 61 per cent in 2000.

Least surprising is that pay in the resource sector rose the fastest since 1998 even though worker qualifications or the requirements of jobs in the industry did not increase. The lesson? Go to university or go into oil.

The study can be found here.

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