Recession hit university graduates hard, StatCan study shows

A study of the earnings of Maritime university graduates from 2006 to 2011 by Statistics Canada shows the 2008 recession is having a lasting effect on their pocketbooks.

The study compares employment earnings in the first year after graduation for people under the age of 35 who graduated from a Maritime university.

It found earnings for graduates completing bachelor's degrees from 2006-08 remained relatively constant, but declined for those that graduated in 2009 or later. 2009 graduates typically earned 8 per cent less than their 2008 counterparts, about $3,000.

Those earnings remained low through 2011.

Losses across the board

Earnings decreased for men, for women; for those who left the Maritimes; for those who stayed; and for most fields of study.

Graduates with higher degrees — masters or doctorates — avoided the drop in earnings.

Education graduates were amongst the worst sufferers, with a 21 per cent decrease in earnings for men and a 24 per cent decrease for women.

The recession is also appears to be having a long-term impact on graduates. Three years after graduation, the wage gap between 2008 graduates and 2009 graduates had not narrowed.

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Council approves demolition of low-rental housing for college residence

- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Lower income families still struggling to get children into higher education