Authors: T. Scott Murray
Collection: Learning Materials
This video is part of a presentation by T. Scott Murray on the results of an analysis, completed in 2010, of adult Aboriginal literacy levels in the Northwest Territories, and the effects of those levels on individuals, communities, and the nation. Murray is the president of DataAngel Policy Research, which collaborated with Bow Valley College in Calgary, Alberta, to produce the videos.
In this segment, Murray looks at the effects of literacy skill levels on individuals in Canada. He focuses on three specific outcomes: duration of unemployment; effect on wages; and personal health.
Among people with high skills, half will be able to find another job within nine weeks of becoming unemployed. For those with low skills, the average period of unemployment may be as high as 38 weeks.
In Canada, one-third of the variation between low-wage and high-wage earners is attributable to difference in literacy skills.
To illustrate the impact of literacy on health, Murray presents a chart that plots the level of health literacy and the prevalence of diabetes for each region of Canada. The figures show that the higher the rate of health literacy, the lower the rate of diabetes. Investments in literacy, therefore, could lower rates of diabetes and reduce health-care costs.