A new study from CIBC Economics says Canada has seen “a slow but steady deterioration” in job quality over the past two decades that is widening the income gap. The report comes in the wake of data showing that about 90 per cent of the new jobs created in Canada over the past year were part-time positions.
An ever-larger share of Canadians are finding work in low-paid jobs, while a smaller share of workers are finding work with above-average wages. The share of prime working-age Canadians (aged 25 to 54) who earn below the national average has been rising steadily since the start of the century, from around 50 per cent in 2000 to 53 per cent in 2015.
“That trend is consistent with a widening wage gap symptomatic of deteriorating labour market quality,” CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal wrote. “The distribution of employment in Canada is not as favourable as it used to be."
This has impacted middle earners the most. While the top 10 per cent of earners have seen the largest wage growth since 1997, it was those in the middle income deciles -- not those at the low end -- who saw the slowest wage growth in that time. People at the low end of the income scale saw faster growth largely due to changes in the minimum wage, the CIBC report said.
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