Average hourly wages in Canada have barely budged in 40 years
Global News
By Amy Minsky
15 June 2017

The average wage Canadians are paid per hour has hardly changed since the 1970s, even as an increasing number of people become increasingly educated, according to recent Statistics Canada data.

In 2016, the average hourly wage paid to full-time employees was $27.70, wage data released Thursday found.

An analysis of historical data from Statistics Canada, meanwhile, found that minimum wage and the average hourly wage have remained, more or less, unchanged since the 1970s.

“While Canada has undergone important economic, social and technological changes since the 1970s, the minimum wage and the average hourly wage are essentially unchanged,” according to the agency.

“Taking inflation into account, the minimum wage peaked in 1976 at just over $11 and hour in Canada. The following year — 1977 — average hourly earnings peaked at close to $24.”

Meanwhile, a look back at education trends among Canadians aged 15 years and older, shows the number of people earning degrees — whether high school, university bachelor or doctorate degree — increased consistently over 20 years, according to census data between 1986 and 2006.

Data released Thursday offered a look at average hourly wages in ten broad groups (management, health, manufacturing, etc.) as well as in dozens of specific jobs (bartenders, hairstylists, greenhouse workers, etc.).

Broadly speaking, the highest wages in 2016 were paid to managers, with an average of $40.25. The range in this category was vast, going all the way from $64.45 for managers of mining and oil and gas extraction to $18.10 per hour for restaurant and food services managers.

Among the broad categories, the second spot went to full-time employees in natural and applied sciences jobs, where the average pay was $33.45 per hour, followed by occupations in education, law and social, and community and government services, were full-time employees drew an average hourly wage of $33.20.

On the other side of the coin, those in the sale and service industries were the lowest paid, earning an average of $18.85, followed closely by those in manufacturing and unities with an average $21.90 hourly wage, and those in natural resources and agriculture with an average $22.15 hourly wage for full-time workers.

Drilling down into the specific job listings, specialist physicians, dentists and petroleum engineers were the occupations with the highest average full-time hourly wages, clocking in at $88.75, $72 and $62.75 respectively.

The lowest full-time wages in 2016, on average, were paid to bartenders, food servers and restaurant hosts or hostesses, which Statistics Canada pegged at $11.50, $11.85 and $12.85 respectively.

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