dug, heres a recent article I found regarding real wages in Canada. A lot of people erroneously believe the hype that larger than ever GDPs means that the average citizen is better off more than ever. Inflation is one hell of a monster.
" 50% of Canadian workers have gone nowhere for 25 years
‘The past twenty-five years saw remarkably little progress for most Canadian workers.’
Ottawa (21 May 2006) - Prosperity is an illusion for vast numbers of Canadian workers who have seen their real wages and earning power flat-line or fall over the past quarter century.
That’s the conclusion of a report called A Tale of Two Economies by Andrew Jackson, national director of social and economic policy for the three-million-member Canadian Labour Congress.
Beneath the official unemployment rate, which remains relatively low, and rosy media reports which focus on so-called broadly-based prosperity, the reality is far different for huge numbers of workers, the report says.
“The past twenty-five years saw remarkably little progress for most Canadian workers. While real (inflation-adjusted) GDP per person has risen by about 50% since the early 1980s, driven mainly by increased productivity, workersâ€™ hourly wages have been remarkably stagnant,” Jackson reports.
“Remarkably, between 1981 and 2004, the real median hourly wage - half of all workers earn more, and half earn less - barely budged. This means that the bottom half of all workers experienced stagnant or declining hourly wages.”
The young, immigrants, and men are falling behind
The report says median wages have fallen most among younger workers, immigrants and men, and have risen a bit among women and older workers.
“Erosion of real wages for the bottom half of the work force has been accompanied by a sharp decline in the security of employment. Especially among young workers, women and immigrant workers of colour, there has been a marked increase in temporary employment and usually very low-paid ‘solo’ self-employment. Many lower-wage workers experience significant periods of unemployment or under-employment over a year, and have been virtually excluded from unemployment benefits under new, more restrictive rules.”
So who are the politicians and the media talking about when they fill Canadian newspapers and web sites with all their talk of of prosperity?
“The fruits of recent economic growth have gone overwhelmingly to the more affluent,” Jackson concludes.
“It is well-known that income inequality has increased, but less well-known that this has been driven most by the rising share of the very highest income groups.”
“Over the course of the 1990s, the share of all taxable wage and salary income going to the top 1% - roughly those making more than $150,000 per year - jumped from 9% to 14% of the total, and the share of the top 1/10th of 1% rose even more sharply. Even the proverbial middle-class of reasonably secure, salaried workers have shared remarkably little in Canadaâ€™s increased prosperity, increasing their real incomes mainly by working longer hours, as individuals and as families.”
The Canadian Labour Congress is Canada’s largest central labour body with a national membership of more than three million members. The 340,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is the second-largest union within the CLC. NUPGE"