Believe it or not, Halifax families are making more money than they did five years ago.
According to 2005 census data released yesterday, median Halifax family income hit $68,625. That’s seven per cent growth in the last five years, compared to 3.7 per cent growth nationally and 6.1 per cent across the province.
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Statistics Canada senior economist Rene Morissette said he doesn’t know why Halifax family income growth was above the national average.
He said over the last 25 years, individual income has been fairly stagnant. Overall, families are making more money because women have entered the workforce and are contributing to the family income.
And here’s a shocker: The rich have seen their incomes go up more than the poor. The wealthiest 20 per cent of Nova Scotian families saw their incomes grow by 24.1 per cent over the last 25 years, while the poorest 20 per cent of families saw 12.7 per cent more money come through the door.
Morissette said while incomes have grown, they haven’t gone up as much as they should have considering how much more education we have these days.
“Canadians have become more educated and more experienced, which are factors which should tend to increase earnings. But they haven’t,” Morissette said.
He said pressure to cut labour costs, along with technological changes, a drop in union participation and international trade have all worked to keep wages lower.