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Side menu bar Canadian Labour Market at a Glance 71-222-XWE Table of contents Objective and data sources Glossary References User information PDF version
Table of contents > Section J - Wages and income >

Hourly wages and Consumer Price Index

Wages adjusted for inflation rose for the second consecutive year

  • In 2005, Canadian employees earned, on average, $19.09 per hour before taxes and other deductions, an amount 3.2% higher than the year before. During this time, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 2.2%. For the past two years, the average growth in hourly wages (current dollars) exceeded the increase in the CPI, and as a result, real hourly wages (adjusted for CPI growth) rose 0.6% in 2004 and 1.0% in 2005.
  • Men's hourly wages have traditionally been higher than women's. In 2005, female employees earned an average of 84 cents for every dollar earned by men-$17.38 versus $20.74 per hour. This wage gap has been narrowing since 2001, when women made 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. Wages have grown faster for women than for men since 2001, decreasing the wage differential between the two sexes.
  • Wages also vary by province, a reflection of past and present labour market demand and supply conditions, the type of industry common to the area, regional costs of living and a number of other factors. Alberta, Canada's main oil-producing province, stood out especially in 2005 with average weekly wages rising an exceptional 6.6%, more than three times the increase in that province's CPI (2.1%). Average hourly wages in 2005 were highest in Ontario ($20.06), Alberta ($19.76) and in British Columbia ($19.36) and lowest in the Atlantic provinces ($16.24 or less).

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Date modified: 2006-06-01 Important Notices