Average hourly wage has increased faster than inflation in Canada but the average rate of pay rise hides some disparities between economic sectors.
Each year, for various reasons such as rising living cost, seniority entitlement, or career advancement, workers benefits from a pay rise in Canada. For example, the province of Ontario raised the general minimum wage rate to $11 on June 1, 2014. A month earlier, in Quebec, the minimum wage rate jumped to $10.35. The minimum wage rate is the less generous compensation an employee is legally entitled to in return for one hour labor supply.
I have compared the rise in the average hourly wage to inflation in Canada in order to see whether workers have lost or gained purchasing power. Inflation is the rise in the average price of the goods and services households consume. Has the price of what Canadians consume increased faster than what they earn?
Average Pay Rise and Inflation, Canada, 1998-2013, Data Source: Statistics Canada
In 2013, the average hourly wages in the sector of accommodation and food services and that of agriculture were respectively $13.76 and $15.7, which is less than the half of the average hourly wages in the sectors of public administration ($32.31) and that forestry, fishing, mining and related activities ($34.53). But, pay rises in the two latter sectors were above the national average, 2.62 % and 4.32 % respectively whereas wage only rose by .95 % in the sector of accommodation and food services and fell by .82 % in the sector of agriculture.