A classroom full of empty desks

Money vs. Education? New report shows money comes out ahead

A classroom full of empty desks

A new Statistics Canada report is showing what many Albertans and social agencies already knew: as Alberta’s oil and gas wages increased, many of our province’s young men stopped attending secondary and post-secondary school.

This article from today’s Calgary Herald¬†looks at the impact the latest energy boom had on our province.

The report examines the years between 2001 and 2008, a period during which oil prices received by Canadian producers more than doubled. During that time, young men between the ages of 17 to 24 living in oil-producing provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland & Labrador) saw their average hourly wages increase by 21%, more than five times the four per cent increase observed in other provinces.

At the same time, the report says school enrolment among young men fell as wages rose. In Alberta, the percentage of young men attending secondary or post-secondary education fell from 44% to 37% between 2001 and 2008. In non-oil-producing provinces, the percentage of young men enrolled in secondary or post-secondary education increased from 52% to 53% over the same period.

What role do you think education will play in the future of our province?