Study: Relative Wage Patterns among the Highly Educated in a Knowledge-based Economy

 

 

 
 


1980 to 2000 Stats Canada

Over the last two decades, the number of university graduates employed in high-knowledge industries (such as those producing scientific and professional equipment, pharmaceutical and medicine products, communication and other electronic equipment) grew much more rapidly than for those employed in other industries.

However, university graduates employed in the high-knowledge sector generally did not experience faster wage growth than others, according to a new study using census data.

Between 1980 and 2000, the number of university graduates employed in high-knowledge industries more than tripled.

In contrast, employment of university graduates in low- and medium-knowledge industries more than doubled. For every 100 university graduates employed in these two industries in 1980, there were roughly 270 university graduates in 2000.

Despite the strong employment growth in high knowledge industries, university graduates in this sector did not see, in general, their wages rise faster than their counterparts in other sectors.

For instance, among female university graduates aged 25 to 35 who had comparable experience, median wages of those employed in high-knowledge industries rose by roughly 20% between 1980 and 2000. In contrast, they increased by at least 30% in low- and medium-knowledge industries.

In low-, medium- and high-knowledge industries, median wages of young male university graduates evolved in a similar fashion, changing little between 1980 and 2000.

Among older workers (those aged 36 to 55) median wages of university graduates and high school graduates also followed similar paths in all three private sector industries.

The research paper Relative Wage Patterns among the Highly Educated in a Knowledge-based Economy , no 232 ( 11F0019MIE2004232 , free) is now available online.





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