Young people entering the job market today may be better educated, but they’re earning less money than their parents did a generation ago, according to census data released yesterday by Statistics Canada.
In fact, it’s a trend that began a quarter century ago and doesn’t appear to be slowing down — especially for young men entering the workforce.
Across all age groups, median salaries for full-time workers have changed little in 25 years. Workers today make, on average, a mere $53 more than they did in 1980, when adjusted for inflation, according to the census.
That stagnation mainly afflicted the middle class.
The top earners in Canada saw their wages increase 16.4 per cent since 1980, while the bottom rung saw a 20 per cent decrease.
For the 25- to 29-year-old group, it’s also a story of decreasing fortunes. In 1980, median earnings for full-time male workers in that age group — the time when people are generally starting their careers — were the equivalent of $43,767 in 2005 wages. By the year 2000, they dipped to $38,110 and in 2005 they stood at $37,680.
While women have traditionally earned less than men, the year-over-year drop has proven far less dramatic.