Wednesday, May 19, 2010

working harder - getting poorer

A new report,co-published by Institut de recherche et d'informations socio-economiques (IRIS) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ,shows the earnings gap between the rich and the rest of Quebec is at a 30-year high and poised to worsen due to recession.

"Quebeckers worked more and the province's economy grew by 71% during this period but not all Quebec families enjoyed the benefits," says IRIS co-author Bertrand Schepper. "The lion's share of income gains went to the richest 10%, while the majority of Quebec families - the bottom 70% - ended up with a smaller share of the income pie."

Quebec families are working on average 321 hours more a year since 1996, which is the equivalent of an extra eight weeks of full-tim work. Most increased work time was accrued by families in the bottom 50% of the income spectrum but they're earning less than their counterparts a generation ago. The richest 10th of Quebec's families earn more today than a generation ago, without having to put in more time at the workplace.The further up the income ladder you go, the more the gains.

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