I actually got quite a bit of feedback on my column suggesting that we still need to focus on jobs for those that need them while at the same time looking for high quality jobs (the quality vs. quantity debate). My point of view is that we still need a significant number of jobs for folks that aren’t in the highly educated column or that don’t have a very specific skill set. If you look at the unemployment rate by education level you see the bulk of unemployment in the province is still facing folks with less than a high school education. Focusing only on high quality jobs won’t do much for them.
For example, the unemployment rate for males with grade 8 or less education is 22%, it is 18.2% for those with only some high school. With a university degree, the unemployment rate for both males and females is only 4%.
Unemployment rate (%) by education level (2010)
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey.