08 March 2011

The importance of education: education and the economy

The National Post’s Kelly McParland offered a colourful chart last November comparing a number of things, including federal transfers to provinces (on a per person basis), provincial gross domestic product and the amount spent per person on education.

There are also some bullet points. 

One stood out:

Newfoundland has strong investment, high GDP, generous transfers, yet still has the country’s highest unemployment and spends very little on education. Might those last two be related?

They might well be related. 

But then again, it is hard to know for sure given that the figures for per capita education spending, for example,  are from 2006 and unemployment is from 2010. There’s no indication why the figures are from different years but they are;  it’s not like the information is secret or otherwise unavailable. 

As for employment rates, in October 2010 it was around 13%  - according to the Post chart - and in October 2006, it was 14%. The participation rate is up slightly in 2010 compared to 2006 (61% versus 58-59%).

Still, it’s hard to escape the idea that there is a connection between education and economic performance.

Consider this some food for thought.

- srbp -