Canada Albertans bring home more than average, census statistics show

02:26  14 september  2017
02:26  14 september  2017 Source:   Edmonton Journal

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Alberta families bring home more money than families in other provinces, new 2016 census data shows , but one economist says that comes with a big caveat. The province had an inflation-adjusted median household income of ,835

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Alberta families bring home more money than families in other provinces, new 2016 census data shows, but one economist says that comes with a big caveat.

The province had an inflation-adjusted median household income of $93,835, according to Statistics Canada census income data released Wednesday — higher than the rest of the provinces.

With the exception of Wetaskiwin, all of Alberta’s urban areas had household incomes higher than the national average.

However, the data was taken from 2015, which University of Calgary economics professor Trevor Tombe called “unfortunate.”

“It’s understandable because they’re using the tax filing data — we don’t have anything more recent than this,” Tombe said. “But there’s very limited information here about how the oil price drop is affecting things in the province.”

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Source: Statistics Canada Census , 2006. More Albertans were employed in 2006 than in 2001. Figure 7, on the next page, shows the labour force statistics of Albertans in both 2001 and 2006.

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Wood Buffalo led the way with the median family bringing in $193,511. Edmonton was middle of the pack with $94,447. Lowest was Wetaskiwin at $67,056, while Canada’s average household income was $70,336.

Statistics Canada spokeswoman Nell Hamalainen said incomes in resource-endowed provinces grew at a faster rate than in the rest of Canada between 2005 and 2015.

Within Alberta, Wood Buffalo, Camrose and Wetaskiwin had the fastest-growing incomes. Wood Buffalo has had the highest median income in Canada in the last five censuses, Hamalainen said.

The data also shows a drop in the percentage of low-income people, Tombe said.

“It’s not just that overall incomes are rising, it’s that it’s rising across income distributions, and the number of low-income individuals is falling,” said Tombe.

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In 2005, 9.8 per cent of Alberta’s population was considered low-income, compared to 9.3 per cent in 2015 (363,890 people). Canada’s nationwide rate is 14.2 per cent.

Even though Wetaskiwin residents reported growing incomes, the community had Alberta’s largest share of low-income people (12.9 per cent). The lowest was Wood Buffalo at 4.4 per cent.

Also of note: Albertans on average are saving more money.

This was the first census to ask about household savings, said Hamalainen. More than 68 per cent of Alberta households contributed to a retirement or pension plan or tax-free savings account in 2015, compared to 65.2 per cent Canada-wide.

Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, said that median incomes and savings contributions will fall in the next census, which will cover the recession.

“I think there might be some people who are suffering from the recession in 2015 and 2016 who look at those numbers and say ‘that’s not my reality at all,'” he said.

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In its daily email newsletter, ATB said that the last two years of recession hurt many Albertans. But the province continues to have advantages.

“The census stats show, Albertans, for the most part, are still doing quite well and that’s good for attracting other Canadians from other provinces, for housing and all forms of retail.”

Fraser Gandy, a carpenter, moved to Edmonton in 2015 from Nova Scotia, which had Canada’s second-lowest household incomes.

He loves the East Coast and knows many who stayed, but work had slowed and an offer came up with a friend’s construction company in Edmonton.

“I saw significant change in my income just by moving here,” he said. “I don’t find myself doing a crazy amount more (work) than I was back home. I’m just able to do it more steadily here because there’s a ton of people coming to live here, and people need houses.”

jwakefield@postmedia.com

Radical disconnect as average Metro Vancouver earner reaps $72,000 a year, pays $1.4 million for home .
Metro Vancouver, one of the world’s more expensive housing markets, lags far behind other Canadian cities in wage earnings according to latest Statistics Canada figures. The census stats, released Wednesday, underline a radical disconnect between local wages and skyrocketing home prices in Metro Vancouver, according to Simon Fraser University urban expert Andy Yan.The median total income for households in Metro Vancouver was $72,662 (15th for census metropolitan regions across Canada) in 2015.

Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-44815-albertans-bring-home-more-than-average-census-statistics-show/

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