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Annual wages, salaries and commissions of T1 tax filers, 2017

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Released: 2019-01-29

In 2017, the median annual income from wages, salaries and commissions of individuals who filed a T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return in Canada was $36,980. This was up slightly from $36,630 in 2016 and $36,740 in 2015. Estimates include all workers with wages, salaries or commissions, including both full- and part-time as well as full- and part-year workers.

Regionally, median wages, salaries and commissions were generally stable from 2015 to 2017, with the exception of a decrease in Alberta from 2015 to 2016 (-4.6%), which rebounded slightly in 2017 (+0.7%). Alberta still had the third highest annual median wages, salaries and commissions ($44,470), following the Northwest Territories ($51,680) and Yukon ($46,220). The Maritime provinces and Nunavut had the lowest medians: $28,870 for Prince Edward Island, $31,430 for New Brunswick, $32,110 for Nova Scotia, and $30,690 for Nunavut.

In all age groups, men were more likely than women to have wages, salaries and commissions. In addition, the median was higher for men ($43,690) than for women ($31,340), especially in the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 age groups. Previous research has shown that women are more likely to work part time, have more frequent career interruptions and for a longer total length, and be underrepresented in leadership positions in the private sector, which would contribute to this difference between men and women.

Median wages, salaries and commissions by industry were highest for "utilities" ($97,130) and "mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction" ($94,050). The industries with the lowest medians were "arts, entertainment and recreation" ($16,350) and "accommodation and food services" ($15,000).

  Note to readers

This study gives an overview of the annual wages, salaries and commissions from paid employment for T1 tax filers. The 2017 data, which was extracted from the preliminary version of the T1 Family File (T1FF), is derived from the T1 Income Tax and Benefit Returns filed in the spring of 2017. This is the first time that the preliminary version of the T1FF is being used for the reporting of annual wages, salaries and commissions. The intent is to publish data tables on wages, salaries and commission on an annual basis in future years using this data.

Wages, salaries and commissions excludes all types of self-employment income. Individuals who have both wage-earnings and self-employment income are included in the analysis, but only their wage-earnings are considered. Tips are included as part of wage earnings.

The median is the value in the middle of a group of values (that is, 50% of people have wages, salaries and commissions above this value and 50% of people have wages, salaries and commissions below this value).

Data for previous years have been adjusted for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

The Maritime provinces are Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

For more information on differences in employment income between men and women, see the article "Women and Paid Work," which is part of the seventh edition of Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report (Catalogue number89-503-X).


The paper "Annual wages, salaries and commissions of T1 tax filers, 2017," which is part of the Income Research Paper Series (Catalogue number75F0002M), is now available.

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