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  • Charting a path to $15/hour for all BC workers November 22, 2017
    In our submission to the BC Fair Wages Commission, the CCPA-BC highlighted the urgency for British Columbia to adopt a $15 minimum wage by March 2019. Read the submission. BC’s current minimum wage is a poverty-level wage. Low-wage workers need a significant boost to their income and they have been waiting a long time. Over 400,000 […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC joins community, First Nation, environmental groups in call for public inquiry into fracking November 5, 2017
    Today the CCPA's BC Office joined with 16 other community, First Nation and environmental organizations to call for a full public inquiry into fracking in Britsh Columbia. The call on the new BC government is to broaden a promise first made by the NDP during the lead-up to the spring provincial election, and comes on […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Income gap persists for racialized people, recent immigrants, Indigenous people in Canada October 27, 2017
    In the Toronto Star, CCPA-Ontario senior economist Sheila Block digs into the latest Census release to reveal the persistent income gap between racialized people, recent immigrants, Indigenous people, and the rest of Canada.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA in Europe for CETA speaking tour October 17, 2017
    On September 21, Canada and the European Union announced that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a controversial NAFTA-plus free trade deal initiated by the Harper government and signed by Prime Minister Trudeau in 2016, was now provisionally in force. In Europe, however, more than 20 countries have yet to officially ratify the deal, […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Twelve year study of an inner-city neighbourhood October 12, 2017
    What does twelve years of community organizing look like for a North End Winnipeg neighbourhood?  Jessica Leigh survey's those years with the Dufferin community from a community development lens.  Read full report.
    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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