Distribution of hourly wages

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People aged 30 to 39 have the highest median hourly wages

  • More men than women have high hourly wages. In 2007, men had a median wage of $20.00 an hour, $3.63 more than women. The median hourly wage gap between men and women shrank from 2000 to 2004. Since then, it has been fairly stable.

  • In 2007, Canadian employees aged 30 to 59—two-thirds of employees—had the highest median hourly wage ($20.51). In contrast, people aged 15 to 24 and those aged 65 and over had the lowest median wages, at $10.00 and $14.00, respectively.

  • To reduce the impact that age has on the observed differences in hourly wages, we use the group of people aged 25 to 54, the core-age for the labour force, as a benchmark. For that group, wages increase with the number of years of education completed. Despite a median wage of about $26, nearly one in seven employees with a university degree earned less than $12 an hour in 2007. However, that proportion has been declining since 2005.

  • Partly because of the rising minimum wage, employees with the lowest median wage ($14.00)—that is, employees with a Grade 8 education or less—had the largest increases in median hourly wages in 2007.

  • From 1997 to 2007, employees with an education above the bachelor's level experienced a 1.8% decline in their median wage in 2007 constant dollars, though they still had a higher median wage than any other education group, at $29.12. This decrease was accompanied by a drop in the employment rate; in other words, employment growth did not keep pace with population growth.

Chart J.3
Distribution of the population aged 25 to 54, by hourly wage and level of education, 2007

Chart J.3  Distribution of the population aged 25 to 54, by hourly wage and level of education, 2007

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.

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