Although there were significant losses in some manufacturing occupations between 2001 and 2006, there was widespread growth in most other occupations. As noted earlier, some of that growth was 'blue-collar' such as the gains in construction trades, and oil and gas workers. There were, however, gains in other occupations which required different skills and levels of education.
By 2006, unemployment rates among people with all levels of education were relatively low compared to previous years1. The Canadian economy, however, still places a premium on workers with higher levels of education. According to the census, among Canadian workers in the core working-age group (ages 25 to 54), those who had not completed high school had an unemployment rate of 9.4%. This was more than twice the rate of 4.2% among those who had completed a university degree.
It is not only the level of education that is important to labour market success, but also the type of program that people have completed that can impact their chances of landing a job. Among people with postsecondary education, those in education studies had very low unemployment. An estimated 542,700 people in the core working-age group had completed a postsecondary program in education as their major field of study. These people had the lowest unemployment rate in 2006, at 3.0%.
Other fields of study for which graduates had low unemployment included biblical studies (3.2%), agriculture, health services, as well as parks, recreation and leisure studies. For each of the last three fields of study, unemployment was 3.6%.
Table 4 Major fields of study with the lowest unemployment rates, for population aged 25 to 54 years