From the newly released Statistics Canada report:
In 2008, 20% of Canadian teenagers aged 15 to 19 were no longer pursuing a formal education. This was higher than the average of 15% across the 31 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). While this OECD proportion was down from 20% in 1998, in Canada, it remained stable at 20%.
Provincially, the proportion of teenagers aged 15 to 19 no longer in school varied from 14% in New Brunswick to 26% in Alberta. The corresponding estimates for the territories ranged from 25% to 34%.
Some provinces appear to be more successful than others in meeting the challenge of integrating young people with relatively low educational attainment into the labour force.
In the Western provinces, there is an association between the relatively high employment rates (around 70%) and relatively high proportions of young people aged 15 to 19 not in education. This association suggests that labour markets with shortages can draw and employ young people regardless of their educational attainment, especially during periods of strong economic growth.
That said, employment and earnings prospects increase strongly with educational attainment. In 2008, the employment rate for Canadians aged 25 to 64 who had not completed high school was 58%, whereas the figure for college and university graduates was 83%.
Graduates from university programs earned considerably more, 75% more on average, than high school or trade/vocational program graduates.