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Updated: Mon, 13 Jan 2014 11:40:37 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Oil patch salaries rise 5 times as fast as rest of Canada



FILE - In this Tuesday, July 26, 2011 file photo, Austin Mitchell, left, and Ryan Lehto, work on an oil derrick outside of Williston, N.D. With what many are calling the largest oil boom in recent North American history, temporary housing for the huge influx of workers, known as "man camps," now dot the sparse North Dakota landscape. In the wake of the kidnapping and brutal murder of a Montana teacher, law enforcement from across the Northern Plains including portions of Canada gather to prepare for an expected influx of 20,000-30,000 new workers drawn to the booming Bakken oil fields. (© AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 26, 2011 file photo, Austin Mitchell, left, and Ryan Lehto, work on an oil derrick outside of Williston, N.D. With what many are calling the largest oil boom in recent North American history, temporary housing for the huge influx of workers, known as "man camps," now dot the sparse North Dakota landscape. In the wake of the kidnapping and brutal murder of a Montana teacher, law enforcement from across the Northern Plains including portions of Canada gather to prepare for an expected influx of 20,000-30,000 new workers drawn to the booming Bakken oil fields. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) The Associated Press

The average salary of young men working in Canada's oil patch increased by 21 per cent between 2001 and 2008, more than five times the pace of gain seen by those workers in other parts of the country.

According to a report published by Statistics Canada Monday, men aged 17 to 24 living in the oil-producing provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador were more likely to have a job than their counterparts in other areas, less likely to still be in school, and more likely to earn more.

The employment rate for those men increased by five to six percentage points during the period in question. That's almost three times the growth seen by the same group in other parts of the country, Statistics Canada said.

"As wages … rose … young men's school enrolment tended to fall," the report said.

In Alberta, the percentage of young men enrolled in secondary or post-secondary education fell to 37 per cent from 44 per cent between the two years, and the percentage attending university on a full-time basis fell to 16 per cent from 17 per cent.

In contrast to that, the percentage of men in that demographic group enrolled in secondary or post-secondary school in provinces that don't produce oil increased to 53 per cent from 52 per cent. And the share attending university full-time increased to 24 per cent from 20.

The study didn't track whether those who chose employment over post-secondary education planned to pursue post-secondary education in the future, Statistics Canada said.

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