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  • CCPA's National Office has moved! May 11, 2018
      The week of May 1st, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' National Office moved to 141 Laurier Ave W, Suite 1000, Ottawa ON, K1P 5J2. Please note that our phone, fax and general e-mail will remain the same: Telephone: 613-563-1341 | Fax: 613-233-1458 | Email: ccpa@policyalternatives.ca  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • What are Canada’s energy options in a carbon-constrained world? May 1, 2018
    Canada faces some very difficult choices in maintaining energy security while meeting emissions reduction targets.  A new study by veteran earth scientist David Hughes—published through the Corporate Mapping Project, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Parkland Institute—is a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s energy systems in light of the need to maintain energy security and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2018 Living Wage for Metro Vancouver April 25, 2018
    The cost of raising a family in British Columbia increased slightly from 2017 to 2018. A $20.91 hourly wage is needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver, up from $20.61 per hour in 2017 due to soaring housing costs. This is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Mobility pricing must be fair and equitable for all April 12, 2018
    As Metro Vancouver’s population has grown, so have its traffic congestion problems. Whether it’s a long wait to cross a bridge or get on a bus, everyone can relate to the additional time and stress caused by a transportation system under strain. Mobility pricing is seen as a solution to Metro Vancouver’s transportation challenges with […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Budget 2018: The Most Disappointing Budget Ever March 14, 2018
    Premier Pallister’s Trump-esque statement that budget 2018 was going to be the “best budget ever” has fallen a bit flat. Instead of a bold plan to deal with climate change, poverty and our crumbling infrastructure, we are presented with two alarmist scenarios to justify further tax cuts and a lack of decisive action: the recent […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Race and Earnings and the Census

I’ve blogged previously on this topic but it is worth revisiting in light of the Census debate.  The gold standard for looking at racial pay gaps is analysis of differences in earnings between Canadian born whites and visible minorities since this excludes differences between immigrants and non immigrants (most importantly country of education and work experience.) This is really only possible using long form Census data since the sub populations of many Canadian born visible minority groups are quite small.

A study by Feng Hou and Simon Coulombe of Statistics Canada – ” Earnings Gaps for Canadian-Born Visible Minorities in the Public and Private Sectors” published in Canadian Public Policy (March, 2010) confirms that significant pay gaps in terms of annual earnings exist for racialized minorities which cannot be readily explained away (not that this will stop many economists from muttering incoherently about “unobserved heterogeneity”, nor likely give pause to Conservative politicians bent on eliminating the factual basis for claims that racial discrimination demonstrably exists.)

The study looks at earnings gaps between Canadian born whites and Canadian born visible minorities in the public and private sectors, and by gender. It calculates an adjusted gap which controls for other factors captured by the Census, notably level of education, years of potential work experience, official language ability, and detailed occupation, and employment status (full time or not.)

The racial pay gap thus calculated is largest -  8.5% less  for visible minority men in the private sector (about half of the “raw” difference before controls are added.) The gap is just 1.9% for men in the public sector. For women, the pay gap is 3.8% in the private sector and 2.9% in the public sector. The difference between the pay gap within the private and public sectors seems to be the result of employment equity policies operating in the latter (and perhaps unionization though there is no such variable in the Census.)

For private sector men, the adjusted racial pay gap is largest for blacks (15.7%) but still significant for South Asians (5.8%) and Chinese Canadians (5.2%.)

Will we ever see data for 2011? Will racial pay gaps narrow or widen as the Canadian born visible “minority” population grows to majority status among younger age groups in our largest cities? I don’t know, but I think it is important that we continue to get the data and the expert analysis from Statistics Canada.

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