MA Research Paper


Master of Arts




Dr. Sean Waite


Scholars agree that precarious employment is growing across and within all occupations and industries, but little is known on the educational attainment of precarious workers. Some studies suggest that recent graduates, women, and the less educated are more likely to be employed in precarious work. Other research contends that involuntary precarious employment is rising among all groups and educational levels. Using the May 2018 Labour Force Survey, this study explores whether higher education protects men and women from precarious employment, and if higher education has a protective effect on men’s and women’s wages within precarious employment. Findings suggest that women, regardless of their educational attainment, are more likely to be precariously employed. Further, the study shows that higher education does not improve wage earnings for men and women within precarious work. For men, higher levels of education resulted in a wage penalty, whereas women earned a wage premium at lower levels of educational attainment.

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