Average hourly wages in Canada have barely budged in 40 years
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
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
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,
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
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.