Last week, Statistics Canada released data for labour productivity in 2022. While going through some of the data, I came across the dataset for “total compensation per hour worked”, and I noticed something interesting.
However, when we look at how much people actually receive based on how much they work, we see that’s not quite the case.
The “total compensation per hour worked” is ratio between total compensation for all jobs, in cash or in kind, divided and the number of hours worked.
Compensation includes wages, salaries, and employer’s social contributions of employees, plus an imputed labour income for self-employed workers.
The number of hours worked in all jobs, on the other hand, is the annual average for all jobs multiplied by the annual average hours worked in all jobs.
Here’s each province fared last year in total compensation per hour worked.
Alberta workers actually saw the second highest rate of compensation per hour worked. Ontario workers were in the top spot, earning 63¢ an hour more than their fellow workers in Alberta and over a dollar more than those in BC, who received the third highest amount.
This was the case in 2021, as well.
But this is a new development. Take a look at the chart below.
For most of the last decade, workers in Alberta received the highest compensation per hour worked compared to those in other provinces.
However, starting in about 2015, the gap between Alberta and thee other provinces began to narrow. That narrowing accelerated in 2019, particularly by Ontario, BC, and Québec. And Alberta was finally surpassed in 2021 by Ontario.
So what gives exactly?
Well, check out how much total compensation per hour worked has changed in each province over the last 10 years.
Of all the provinces, Alberta saw the smallest increase in total compensation per hour worked.
In fact, the provinces in the top two spots—Québec and BC—saw increases that were more than double what Alberta saw. And Ontario, which was in third place, saw an increase that was almost double that of Alberta’s.
As well, only one other province—Saskatchewan—saw an increase of under $7 an hour.
So while Alberta workers are still seeing pretty high wages compared to the other provinces, workers in other provinces, workers in other provinces are seeing their wages increase faster, which will make it easier for them to weather inflationary pressures.