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Earnings and Incomes of Canadians Over the Past Quarter Century, 2006 Census: Earnings

Among new entrants, gender gap in earnings smaller for highly educated workers

The gender gap in earnings among new entrants into the labour market was smaller in 2005 for individuals with higher levels of education.

For example, women aged 25 to 29 holding a graduate or professional diploma and working on a full-time full-year basis earned 96 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts in 2005. At the bachelor's degree level, this ratio was lower, at 89 cents.

In contrast, young women with a registered apprenticeship or trades certificate earned only 65 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Similarly, young women with no high school diploma earned only 67 cents for every dollar earned by young men with the same level of education.

The gap between male and female workers who have similar levels of education was mainly due to the fact that young women are overrepresented in low-paying occupations. Gender differences in earnings within identical occupations were generally very small among new entrants. Two exceptions were management occupations and sales and service occupations, where women consistently earned far less than men.

For example, young women who had a bachelor's degree and who were employed in art, culture, recreation and sport occupations earned the same as their male counterparts in 2005. Young women employed in social sciences, education, government services and religion occupations earned 99 cents for every dollar earned by men.

In contrast, young women employed in management occupations earned 86 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts in 2005. In sales and service occupations, the gap was even larger, at 72 cents for every dollar.

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