Literacy & Employment

People with low literacy skills have much lower rates of employment. In Ontario, just 61% of adults with the lowest literacy levels are employed while 82% of people with the highest levels of literacy are in the workforce. (Statistics Canada, International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey, 2003)


Literacy & Unemployment

People with low literacy skills are more likely to experience unemployment and they are about twice as likely to be unemployed for six months or more. (Statistics Canada, International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey, 2003)


Literacy & Health

Canadians with low literacy skills are more likely to suffer poorer health than Canadians with high levels of literacy and a person’s level of literacy is a key determinant of overall health. (Canadian Public health Association, “A Vision for a Health Literate Canada: Report of the Expert Panel on Health Literacy”, 2008)


Literacy & Youth

The high school graduation rate in Ontario has increased from 68% in 2003-2004 to 82% in 2010-2011. However, this still means that 18% of young people dropped out before completing their high school education. In addition, 18% of Ontario students who wrote the grade 10 literacy test in the 2011-2012 school year were unsuccessful. (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2012 and the Education Quality and Accountability Office, 2012)


Literacy & Justice

Upon arrival at correctional institutions, approximately 65% of offenders test at a level lower than Grade 8, and 82%test lower than Grade 12. (Correctional Services of Canada’s website, “Overview of Education and Employment Programs”, 2010)


Literacy & the Economy

Increased literacy skills are strongly linked to economic growth and prosperity. A 1% increase in literacy skills would lead to an increase of $18.5 billion per year in Canada’s GDP. Further, literacy is a key component to Canada’s economic recovery and to the future prosperity of our country. Government investment in adult literacy yields substantial economic returns. (Statistics Canada, literacy Scores, Human Capital and Growth Across 14 OECD Countries”, 2004 and the Council of Ministers of Education Canada, 97th CMEC meeting, March 2010.)


Download the PDF of “Painting a Picture of Literacy” from Community Literacy of Ontario HERE
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