The SEPH indicated that, from October 2008 through October 2009, average weekly earnings edged up 1.6% across all Canadian payrolls. Earnings fell in forestry, construction, manufacturing, and a few service industries.
But no one reported the most striking figure: earnings in “management of companies and enterprises” jumped 17%. It is difficult to tell exactly what this averageÂ means because itÂ includes corporate executives, lower-ranking managers, and small proprietors who pay themselves modest salaries (either because their enterprises generate little income or because they avoid tax by collecting their income as dividends rather than as salary.)
I tried to at least insert this percentage into the public debate with the following letter printed in yesterdayâ€™s Globe and Mail:
The great escape
According to your On The Job sidebar (Factories Drive Rebound In Jobs Growth â€“ Report on Business, Dec. 23), average weekly earnings rose by a meagre 1.6 per cent over the past year. The same Statistics Canada survey indicates the average weekly earnings of business managers increased by 17 per cent, more than 10 times as much. The people who caused the economic crisis appear to have escaped its consequences.
Erin Weir, economist, United Steelworkers, Toronto