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Earnings and Incomes of Canadians Over the Past Quarter Century, 2006 Census: Earnings

Gap in earnings widens between recent immigrants and Canadian-born workers

During the past quarter century, the earnings gap between recent immigrants and Canadian-born workers widened significantly.

In 1980, recent immigrant men who had some employment income earned 85 cents for each dollar received by Canadian-born men. By 2005, the ratio had dropped to 63 cents. The corresponding numbers for recent immigrant women were 85 cents and 56 cents, respectively.

The gap widened even though the educational attainment of recent immigrant earners rose much faster than that of their Canadian-born counterparts, during this 25-year period.1

Earnings disparities between recent immigrants and Canadian-born workers increased not only during the two previous decades, but also in recent years.

While recent immigrant men earned only about 63 cents for every dollar earned by their Canadian-born counterparts in 2005, the corresponding number was 67 cents in 2000.

Recent immigrant women also lost ground relative to their Canadian-born counterparts in recent years. In 2000, they earned 65 cents for each dollar received by Canadian-born women, compared to 56 cents in 2005.

The gap in median earnings between recent immigrant men and women and their Canadian-born counterparts widened both for individuals with a university degree and for those with no university degree.

Table 8
Median earnings, in 2005 constant dollars, of male and female recent immigrant earners and Canadian-born earners aged 25 to 54, with or without a university degree, Canada, 1980 to 2005

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