Wage Growth Over the Past 30 Years: Changing Wages by Age and Education

Economic Insights, No. 8, June 2012

5 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2012

See all articles by Rene Morissette

Rene Morissette

Government of Canada - Business & Labour Market Analysis Division

Garnett Picot

Statistics Canada

Yuqian Lu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 15, 2012

Abstract

This article in the Economic Insights series examines two questions: (1) Which groups of Canadian workers have experienced stronger real wage growth over the past three decades?; and (2) To what extent do individuals’ acquisition of education, general work experience, and seniority within firms, as well as their movements into higher-wage or lower-wage occupations and industries, account for differences in real wage growth observed across groups of workers? This article uses data from various Statistics Canada surveys and focuses on the real (hourly or weekly) wages earned by full-time workers. It is based on research carried out at Statistics Canada aimed at providing information on how wage rates of Canadian workers have changed over the past three decades. Wages are expressed in 2010 dollars.

Since the early 1980s, real wages of various groups of workers have grown at markedly different rates in Canada and in many industrialized Western countries. Technological changes, growth in international trade, institutional factors (e.g., de-unionization, changes in minimum wages, and changes in the incidence of pay-for-performance), movements in group-specific labour supplies, and changes in social norms have been cited as potential drivers of this differential wage growth. To help shed some light on this matter, the article examines how real wages of Canadian workers evolved across age groups and education levels from 1981 to 2011.

Keywords: educational indicators, full-time employment, occupations, salaries and wages, work experience

JEL Classification: E24, I2, J3

Suggested Citation

Morissette, Rene and Picot, Garnett and Lu, Yuqian, Wage Growth Over the Past 30 Years: Changing Wages by Age and Education (June 15, 2012). Economic Insights, No. 8, June 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2095223 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2095223

Rene Morissette (Contact Author)

Government of Canada - Business & Labour Market Analysis Division ( email )

24th Floor - R.H. Coats Building
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Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0T6
Canada
613 951-3608 (Phone)
613-951-5403 (Fax)

Garnett Picot

Statistics Canada ( email )

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
613-951-8214 (Phone)
613-951-5403 (Fax)

Yuqian Lu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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