3/20/13

Management wage increases dwarf others

Earlier I noted that while the provincial government was imposing concessions (and, yes, of course, wage freezes) on unionized public sector workers, the Conference Board of Canada was predicting 2.7% increases for non-union employees in Ontario in 2013 (up from 2.6% actual increases in 2012).

Now, Statistics Canada data suggests this may be part of a long term trend.  Data in a new report indicates that in Canada between 1998 and 2011 the hourly wages of full time management occupations went up 34.7% in real terms (i.e. after accounting for inflation).  

The rest did much worse.  "Health occupations" saw a 3.8% real increase.  That is about a quarter of one percent per year -- management occupations did about  nine times better.  "Social Sciences, education, and government service" did worse still with a 2.5% increase over the 13 years. 

Worst of all? "Occupations unique to processing, manufacturing, and utilities" at 1.5%. 

Outside of management, "occupations unique to primary industries" increased the most at 15% (driven, reportedly by increasing demand for commodities like oil and copper). 

Median hourly wages
1998
2011
Change
(In 2010 dollars)
(In 2010 dollars)
%
Management occupations
24.87
33.5
34.7
Business, finance, and administrative occupations
19.14
19.86
3.8
Natural sciences, applied sciences, and related
26.17
29.79
13.8
Health occupations
22.97
23.84
3.8
Social sciences, education, government service
26.64
27.32
2.5
Sales and service occupations
13.72
14.52
5.9
Trades, transport, and equipment operators
20.42
21.3
4.3
Occupations unique to primary industry
14.04
16.14
15
Occupations unique to processing, manufacturing, and utilities
17.03
17.24
1.2

Gross Domestic Product per capita increased 18.6% in real terms from July 1998 to July 2011, so obviously someone was getting a significant increase.  Apparently that included managers (whose percentage hourly wage increase was almost double the percentage growth in per capita GDP).  

But health care workers, government employees, and education workers (i.e. targets of government austerity) have fallen far behind.

I'm sometimes accused of providing nothing but bad news.  So the good news? Unionized workers (public and private) did a little better.  According to other Stats Can data drawing on the Labour Force Survey, full time, unionized men saw wages increase 6.5% in real terms, while full time, unionized women saw an 11.4% increase. That doesn't keep pace with the growth in the economy, and still falls well short of management wage increases, but it is better than many other workers have seen.

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