The cost of the crisis for the graduates

Le prix de la crise pour les finissants

Photo: Darryl Dyck, The canadian Press
According to the Statistics Canada study, the new graduates of the bachelor’s degree shall acknowledge the losses the higher.

The economic crisis caused by the epidemic of coronavirus could deprive the new graduates of a total ranging from just a few thousand dollars to nearly 25 % of what they would have earned otherwise during the next five years, depending on the severity of the situation, their education level, or the fact of being a man or a woman, reports a study. But in any case, the damage should fade with time and the spectre of a “lost generation” should not be feared.

What long-term impact will the crisis have on the students who will receive their diplomas and start their career this year ? If the unemployment rate of young people aged 15 to 24 years continues this year at around its level in the month of June (27.5 per cent) and that the return to normal follows the trends of the past 30 years, they will be in 5 years, with a total of 23 000 $ to 44 000 $ less in their pockets, has been calculated to a Statistics Canada study released Tuesday. As their income will also be more important, the new bachelor’s graduates will acknowledge the loss the higher, but these are the new workers school graduates who will suffer in proportion to the cumulative losses of the heaviest, up to a quarter (25 %) of what they would have earned otherwise.

Is it because women are staying in school and pursuing a career in sectors more exposed to economic cycles than the trends since 1980 suggest that they would be more affected than men, including more graduates, of which loss of income could be proportionately almost twice (21 % vs. 12 %) ?

All of these impacts will be reduced if the employment situation proves to be less disastrous, ” says the Statistics Canada study. If the rate of unemployment, this year, was returning to what had been its historical peak hitherto, an average of 19 %, the total loss of income would, for example, from 8 000 $ to 15 000 $, then they would be lower than 6000 $ over five years if the average unemployment rate declined to 16 %.

While this is not meant as predictions, but simulations, explained in a telephone interview with the Duty of one of the co-authors of the study, by Marc Frenette. We do not yet know how this economic crisis is out of the ordinary is running, or what effect will factors such as emergency financial aid of the governments, the requirement to use the training remote or the acceleration of the transition to remote work and automation.

“It is certain that in the short or medium term, the new cohort of graduates may be the trademarks of the financial crisis,” observes the economist and researcher. But they will follow for a long time, the more we should see them catch up and converge with the path of the other cohorts that came before or after them on the labour market. “

Generations lost ?

The work of other experts and its own research tend, in effect, to spread this idea, still referred to by some in recent months, that the fact of entering the labour market in the midst of economic crisis could constitute such a handicap that it hit and then the whole professional career of these ” generations lost “.

In another study conducted last year for Statistics Canada, Marc Frenette, for example, has shown that the graduates of 1991 and 2001 had, over 15 years, trajectories are similar although the former, unlike the second, had started their careers in the midst of a recession. But what it mainly shows, he said, what are the financial benefits in the long term to have completed post-secondary education.

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