Men who lost jobs in 2008 recession 5 times more likely to enrol in post-secondary education

Statistics Canada has identified a significant link between layoffs and post-secondary education.

OTTAWA (CP) — A new Statistics Canada study says there are significant correlations between job layoffs and full-time enrollment in post-secondary education.

To help illustrate its findings, the report released Tuesday said men who lost their jobs in 2008 — at the start of the recession — were five times more likely to register for post-secondary education than those who weren’t laid off.

The research found 3.1 per cent of men who lost their jobs that year went back to school on a full-time basis. In contrast, only 0.6 per cent of men who didn’t lose their jobs between 2001 and 2011 enrolled in full-time, post-secondary schooling.

Among women laid off in 2008, 3.1 per cent of them enrolled full time in a post-secondary institution, compared with one per cent of women who didn’t lose their jobs between 2001 and 2011.

The goal of the paper was to take a closer look at how people respond after losing their job, or even when they anticipate a possible layoff.

“While it is well documented that many displaced workers experience substantial and persistent earnings losses, the extent to which they enrol in (post-secondary) institutions after job loss remains — to a large extent — unknown,” said the report, co-authored by Wen Ci, Marc Frenette and Rene Morissette.

“The substantial increases in full-time enrolment observed among men and women displaced in 2008 suggest that adult workers respond to job loss by enrolling full time in (post-secondary) institutions.”

The study also found that, in general, workers laid off between 2001 to 2011 were two to four percentage points more likely than other workers to go to school.

“Regardless of their gender and marital status, laid-off employees are more likely than other employees to attend (post-secondary) institutions in the year of the layoff or the following year,” the authors wrote.

The document found “statistically-significant correlations” between layoffs and full-time post-secondary education, starting two years before a job loss and the two years that followed a job loss.

The results, the authors wrote, suggest that some workers concerned about the future of their positions may pre-emptively enrol in post-secondary institutions as a precaution.