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The need to make skills work: The cost of Ontario’s skills gap

The proportion of adults in Canada with a post-secondary education is the highest among all OECD countries, and the cost of that education is roughly double the OECD average. Yet, more and more of those degree holders fall behind in the earnings scale. The share of Canadian university graduates who make less than half the national median income is the largest among all OECD countries. Sure, on average it pays to get a post-secondary education, but with the education premium narrowing, the number of lowincome outliers is rising. And despite the overwhelming evidence that one’s field of study is the most important factor determining labour market outcomes, today’s students have not gravitated to more financially advantageous fields in a way that reflects the changing reality of the labour market.