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Gender Wage Gaps and Earnings Ratios in Ontario

Issued: December 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4435-8241-4 (HTML)
ISBN: 978-1-4435-8242-1 (PDF)
ISBN: 978-1-4435-8240-7 (Print)
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Table of Contents

Appendix

Purpose

This document provides a snapshot of wage inequalities in Ontario. The wage gaps and earnings ratios of different groups of workers illustrate the inequalities men and women face as members of those groups.

Wage gaps describe differences in earnings between women and men workers. Female-to-male earnings ratio represents women's earnings as a percentage of those of men. Many times, only one single gender wage gap or earnings ratio is presented. However, it is well-known that some groups experience more disadvantage than others in terms of their earnings; thus it is more accurate to present the wage gap or earnings ratio for specific groups.

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Using this Data

This document provides data that can help:

  1. To plan and evaluate services. This descriptive information about the relative importance of wage inequalities for different groups can form the basis for making decisions about how to allocate resources and what areas or groups to focus on in labour, training or specialized programs.
  2. To identify future areas for research. For example, what accounts for the differences in the female-to-male earnings ratio between younger compared older workers? or specific occupations that display high or low earnings ratios may be worthwhile to study.

It is important to note that the data only describes wage inequalities. Further investigation is required to analyze and explain what produces different levels of inequality for specific groups of workers.

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Comparing Average Hourly Wage Rates

Average hourly wages were selected for comparison. The advantage of using hourly rates is that it enables comparisons of pay for similar jobs regardless of whether people work in those jobs on a full–time or part–time basis. In instances when it is important to consider for example, the impact of earnings differences on people's ability to support themselves and their families, then an annual rate or take-home rate that accounts for hours of work may be more appropriate.[ 1 ] However, for the purpose of this document, hourly wage rates suffice to provide current, baseline data on women's wages compared to men's with reference to what they do and where they work.

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Data Sources

The charts and table report on Ontario data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID). The LFS is a monthly survey that provides detailed information on labour force activity and employment estimates by industry, occupation, hours worked, as well as wages, union status, job permanency and workplace size. The SLID collects income and earnings information on individuals and the changes they experience over time.

This document relies on SLID data for wage information by immigrant and disability status, and public/ private sector since these variables not available from the LFS.

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All Workers

From 1998 to 2008, the average hourly female-to-male earnings ratio ranged from 80% to 84% for full- and part-time Ontario workers over the age of 15 (Figure 1). In 2008, on average, men earned $3.94 more per hour than women (Table 1).

Figure 1

Average Hourly Wages and Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio Ontario,
Full–time and Part–time Workers, 15 Years old and over
(CANISM TABLE 2820072)

Average Hourly Wage
Table 1: Average Hourly Wage, Ontario Workers, full-time and part-time, 15 years old and over
  1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
Male $18.09 $19.43 $20.39 $21.32 $22.40 $24.13
Female $14.71 $15.62 $16.59 $17.48 $18.86 $20.19
Female-to-Male earnings ratio 81% 80% 81% 82% 84% 84%


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Age

Figure 2

Female-to-Male Ratio (hourly) By Age, Ontario
(Cansim Table 2820072)

female-to-male
Table 2: Average hourly wages by age, full- and part-time workers, Ontario
    1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
15 to 24 years old
Males $9.81 $10.51 $10.77 $10.98 $11.51 $12.38
Females $8.87 $9.27 $9.55 $9.85 $10.72 $11.23
Female-to-Male earnings ratio 90% 88% 89% 90% 93% 91%
25 to 54 years old Males $19.59 $21.18 $22.24 $23.28 $24.52 $26.43
Females $15.97 $17.09 $18.25 $19.14 $20.60 $22.06
Female-to-Male earnings ratio 82% 81% 82% 82% 84% 83%
55 years and over Males $20.19 $21.89 $22.85 $23.99 $24.46 $26.30
Females $15.12 $16.02 $16.69 $18.49 $20.08 $21.60
Female-to-Male earnings ratio 75% 73% 73% 77% 82% 82%


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Education

Higher education levels seem to benefit women in terms of their hourly wages in relation to men with similar education levels (Figure 9). The female-to-male earnings ratio increases as education level increases (Table 6).

Figure 3

Average Hourly Wage by Level of Education
Ontario, 2008
Source: Labour Force Survey

Average Hourly Wage by Level of Education
Table 3: Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio by Education Level, 2008
Education Level Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio
0–8 years 72%
Some secondary 75%
Graduated secondary 81%
Some post-secondary 83%
Post-secondary certificate or diploma 82%
University bachelor degree 85%
University graduate degree 87%


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Disability Status

Figure 4

Composite Hourly Wage by Sex and Disability Status, Ontario, 2006
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics

Composite Hourly Wage by Sex and Disability Status, Ontario, 2006

Figure 4 shows that, based on hourly wages, men without disability earn $22.98 while women without disability earn $18.33. Men with disability earn $21.45 and women with disability earn $17.33.

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Immigrant Status

Figure 5

Composite Hourly Wage by Sex and Immigrant Status, Ontario, 2006
Source: Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics

Composite Hourly

Figure 5 shows than, based on hourly wages, non-immigrant men earn $24.26 while non-immigrant women earn $19.53. Immigrant men earn $22.69 and immigrant women earn $17.66.

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Occupations

Figure 6

Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio by Occupation
Ontario 2008
Canism Table 2820070 and 2820026

Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio by Occupation
Table 6: Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio by Occupation, Ontario 2008
Occupation Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio
Contractors and Supervisors in trades and transportation 66%
Other Trades 72%
Trades, transport and equipment operators and related 73%
Unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities 73%
Machine Operators and assemblers in manufacturing, inlc. supervisors 74%
Construction trades 75%
Retail salespersons, sales clerks, cashiers, incl. retail trade supervisors 77%
Sales and Service 77%
Unique primary industry 78%
Other management 79%
Management 79%
Social Science, government service and religion 79%
Financial, secretarial and administrative 80%
Transport and equipment operators 80%
Labourer in processing, manufacturing and utilites 81%
Trades helpers, construction, transportation labourers and related 81%
Wholesale, technical, insurace, real estate sales 82%
Professionals in business and finace 82%
15 years and over - all occupations 84%
Business, finance and administrative 84%
Protective services 84%
Social science, education, government service and religion 85%
Technical, assisting and related in health 87%
Natural and applied sciences and related 88%
Senior management 90%
Childcare and home support workers 91%
Chefs and cooks, and food and beverage service, incl. supervisors 92%
Health occupations 92%
Clerical occupations, incl. supervisors 93%
Teachers and professors 93%
Sales and service not elsewhere classified 94%
Professionals in helath, registered nurses, nurse supervisors 96%
Art, Culture, recreation and sport 99%


Table 4: Average Hourly Wage and Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio by Ocuppation, Ontario 2008
(shaded items are the main categories)
2008 Total Employed Number of Males Number of Females Share of females in occupation Percent of employed females Percent of employed males Male Average Hourly Wage Female Average Hourly Wage Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio
15 years and over – all occupations 5,642,800 2,833,200 2,851,600 50% 100% 100% $24.13 $20.19 84%
Management 465,700 272,400 193,300 42% 7% 10% $38.13 $30.28 79%
Senior mangement 29,300 18,900 10,400 35% 0% 1% $47.14 $42.64 90%
Other management 436,600 253,600 183,000 42% 6% 9% $37.46 $29.58 79%
Business, finance and administrative 1,138,300 336,900 801,400 70% 28% 12% $23.75 $19.92 84%
Professionals in business and finance 178,900 79,200 99,700 56% 3% 3% $34.65 $28.28 82%
Financial, secretarial and administrative 307,500 55,700 251,800 82% 9% 2% $25.82  $20.70 80%
Clerical, including supervisors 651,800 201,900 449,900 69% 16% 7% $18.90 $17.63 93%
Natural and applied 445,600 336,000 109,600 25% 4% 12% $31.93  $28.14 88%
Health occupations 326,400 41,000 285,400 87% 10% 1% $27.67  $25.44 92%
Professionals in health, nurse supervisors and registered nurses 135,000 15,900 119,100 88% 4% 1% $33.12 $31.66 96%
Technical, assisting and related in health 191,300 25,000 166,300 87% 6% 1% $24.20 $20.99 87%
Social science, education, government service and religion 541,100 165,700 375,400 69% 13% 6% $31.67 $27.31 86%
Social science, government service and religion 260,000 71,500 188,500 73% 7% 3% $30.65 $24.35 79%
Teachers and professors 281,100 94,200 186,900 66% 7% 3% $32.45 $30.30 93%
Art, culture, recreation and sport 146,900 64,300 82,600 56% 3% 2% $21.91 $21.78 99%
Sales and service 1,387,800 591,200 796,600 57% 28% 21% $16.57 $12.81 77%
Wholesale, technical, insurance, real estate sales specialists 149,000 88,100 60,900 41% 2% 3% $24.92 $20.33 82%
Retail salespersons, sales clerks, cashiers, including retail trade supervisors 400,400 124,500 275,900 69% 10% 4% $14.25 $10.95 77%
Chefs and cooks, and food and beverage service, including supervisors 183,900 77,700 106,20 58% 4% 3% $12.41 $11.39 92%
Protective services 99,100 77,900 21,200 21% 1% 3% $24.65 $20.71 84%
Childcare and home support workers 66,200 3,300 62,900 95% 2% 0% $16.72 $15.17 91%
Sales and service not elsewhere classified 489,200 219,700 269,500 55% 9% 8% $13.15 $12.40 94%
Trades, transport and equipment operators and related 766,200 715,100 51,100 7% 2% 25% $21.52 $15.65 73%
Contractors and supervisors in trades and transportation 48,500 45,600 2,900 6% 0% 2% $28.35 $18.83 66%
Construction trades 88,100 86,600 1,500 2% 0% 3% $21.79 $16.32 75%
Other trades 315,200 302,100 13,100 4% 0% 11% $22.91 $16.44 72%
Transport and equipment operators 182,700 166,100 16,600 9% 1% 6% $19.59 $15.76 80%
Trades helpers, construction, and transportation labourers and related 131,700 114,700 17,000 13% 1% 4% $17.74 $14.33 81%
Unique to primary industry 71,700 57,800 13,900 19% 0% 2% $17.15 $13.39 78%
Unique to processing, manufacturing and utilities 395,000 252,800 142,200 36% 5% 9% $20.85 $15.31 73%
Machine operators and assemblers in manufacturing, including supervisors 317,400 213,500 103,900 33% 4% 8% $21.66 $16.05 74%
Labourer in processing, manufacturing and utilities 77,700 39,300 38,400 49% 1% 1% $16.46 $13.29 81%


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Workers Covered by Unions

Figure 7

Average Hourly Wage by Sex and Union Coverage, Ontario
Permanent and Temporary Workers,
15 years and over
Canism Table 2820074

Average Hourly Wage by Sex and Union Coverage, Ontario
Table 7: Average Hourly Wages by Union Coverage, Ontario All Workers, 15 years and over
    1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
Union coverage Males $20.36 $21.42 $22.44 $23.88 $25.00 $26.83
Females $18.23 $19.28 $20.37 $21.51 $23.05 $25.08
Female-to-male earnings ratio 90% 90% 91% 90% 92% 93%
No union coverage Males $17.04 $18.59 $19.57 $20.31 $21.37 $25.08
Females $13.47 $14.26 $15.14 $15.97 $17.26 $18.33
Female-to-male earnings ratio 79% 77% 77% 79% 81% 79%


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Part–Time and Full–Time Workers

Part–time women workers do better than full-time women workers when compared to their male counterparts i.e. the female-to-male earnings ratio is higher for part–time than for full–time workers. However, part–time workers earn less per hour than full–time workers (Figure 7 and Table 5).

Figure 8

Average Hourly Wages by Full–time and Part–time Status,
15 years and over, Ontario
Canism Table 2820070

Average Hourly Wages by Full-time and Part-time Status
Table 8: Average Hourly Wages by Full-time and Part-time Status, 15 years and over, Ontario
    1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
Full-time workers Males $19.00 $20.42 $21.45 $22.41 $23.59 $25.48
Females $15.83 $16.87 $18.00 $18.89 $20.41 $21.86
Female-to-male earnings ratio 83% 83% 84% 84% 87% 86%
Part-time workers Males $11.70 $11.90 $12.38 $13.26 $14.00 $15.06
Females $10.07 $10.68 $11.18 $12.09 $12.34 $13.52
Female–to–male earnings ratio 86% 90% 90% 91% 88% 90%


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Public and Private Sector Workers

Women working in the public sector earn an hourly wage of $24.37 which more than women and men in the private sector (Figure 8). The female-to-male earnings ratio is 80% in the public sector; 76% in the private sector.

Figure 9

Composite Hourly Wage, Ontario, 2006
Source: Survey of Labour Income Dynamics

Composite Hourly Wage, Ontario, 2006
Composite Hourly Wage, Ontario, 2006
Public and Private Sector Workers Hourly Wage
Public Sector Male $30.63
Public Sector Female $24.37
Private Sector Male $21.07
Private Sector Female $15.96

Firm Size

Hourly wages are higher in larger firms. However, the female-to-male earnings ratio is similar across the different firm sizes (83 – 84%) (Figure 10).

Figure 10

Average Hourly Wage by Firm Size Ontario, 2008
Source: Labour Force Survey

Average Hourly Wage by Firm Size
Table 10: Average Hourly Wage by Firm Size
Firm Size Males Females
Less than 20 Employees $18.37 $15.52
100 to 500 Employees $21.02 $17.35
20 to 99 Employees $23.64 $19.85
More than 500 Employees $25.64 $21.42



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Conclusion: Monitoring Wages in Ontario

Based on this data:

  1. Overall, in Ontario, women workers are slowly gaining equality compared to men in terms of average hourly wages (by 3 percentage points over the last ten years).
  2. The female-to-male earnings ratio varies among different groups of workers and wage rates differ depending on worker characteristics (immigrant or disability status) and location in the labour market (public/private, firm size, occupation, unionization).
  3. Gender wage gaps exist for all of the groups examined.
  4. It is important that earnings and income data, and wage gap trends for women workers be monitored and the results made accessible and available to social and economic policy professionals and other stakeholder groups with interests in work and social equality.

Appendix

Female-to-male earnings ratios (average), by selected characteristics, annualy (Percent)
Ontario – full-time, full-year
CANSIM TABLE 2020104
  1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
All age groups 65.2 64.6 67.8 64.8 68.1 69.7 72.7 68.3 72.6 74.9
15 to 24 years 81.2 83.4 85.6 84.8 87.2 95.0 86.9 92.8 82.2 89.7
25 to 34 years 73.0 71.5 75.9 73.6 79.1 79.1 78.1 73.1 80.5 84.3
35 to 44 years 64.4 61.6 66.4 63.4 68.6 66.7 73.1 65.4 72.8 75.1
45 to 54 years 58.6 62.4 59.2 59.2 62.6 68.7 67.9 66.8 67.6 65.6
55 years and over 61.7 59.2 60.9 58.8 55.3 58.4 70.4 63.2 68.6 76.1
All marital statuses 65.2 64.6 67.3 64.8 68.1 69.7 72.7 68.3 72.6 74.9
Never married 95.0 90.9 94.7 87.7 87.6 97.9 92.4 91.8 98.0 93.5
Married 59.4 59.6 61.1 59.3 64.5 64.5 69.6 63.8 67.5 71.8
Other marital status 67.2 64.9 79.7 72.6 73.1 71.0 67.8 69.8 77.0 79.0
All education levels 65.2 64.6 67.3 64.8 68.1 69.7 72.7 68.3 72.6 74.9
Elementary school, 0 to 8 years 55.0 59.6 59.7 49.0 66.2 73.4 76.6 76.3 69.3 65.3
Some secondary     62.0 63.8 65.6 68.2 60.3 66.1 62.1 73.3
Graduated high school     67.6 64.5 68.6 66.6 72.6 68.4 71.7 79.9
Some postsecondary 63.3 61.9 60.6 63.9 69.9 64.1 63.9 70.2 69.2 66.1
Postsecondary certificate or diploma 70.7 63.6 68.6 67.9 68.9 73.2 73.4 69.7 72.4 67.2
University degree 71.1 75.8 72.1 72.6 71.5 70.1 76.9 68.0 76.8 77.5

Female-to-male earnings ratios (average), by selected characteristics, annualy (Percent)
Ontario – full–time, full–year
Cansim Table 2020104
  1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
All age groups 69.4 71.9 66.1 67.4 67.0 68.4 69.3 67.3 70.4 71.9
15 to 24 years 82.4 91.7 79.9 90.5 81.4 84.0 80.9 64.0 84.1 89.6
25 to 34 years 70.0 78.9 70.9 69.4 69.1 69.6 77.7 74.3 76.2 77.7
35 to 44 years 77.4 75.6 63.4 63.4 68.9 72.8 68.6 68.8 76.9 74.0
45 to 54 years 62.5 65.3 66.1 72.2 66.8 70.4 65.9 67.5 65.1 75.5
55 years and over 59.5 60.6 66.2 56.7 59.0 52.3 64.4 52.9 61.2 52.4
All marital statuses 69.4 71.9 66.1 67.4 67.0 68.4 69.3 67.3 70.4 71.9
Never married 88.8 96.4 85.8 95.8 89.2 98.6 95.7 86.7 94.4 99.1
Married 66.2 68.5 62.3 62.4 62.5 62.9 63.4 62.6 66.7 66.5
Other marital status 73.6 73.2 74.3 74.3 77.2 69.0 75.6 82.9 61.6 71.4
All education levels 69.4 71.9 66.1 67.4 67.0 68.4 69.3 67.3 70.4 71.9
Elementary school, 0 to 8 years 66.0 56.7 65.0 58.9 52.4 70.2 61.9 57.0 55.3 72.2
Some secondary 71.8 68.9 67.7 62.3 63.7 54.7 57.2 59.4 58.4 60.2
Graduated high school 80.9 79.4 71.9 70.3 70.2 58.1 73.1 62.1 65.2 71.4
Some postsecondary 65.5 69.7 67.3 73.6 65.0 72.3 75.6 74.0 75.7 81.6
Postsecondary certificate or diploma 66.8 70.2 63.0 65.7 70.8 71.3 68.3 71.2 73.0 73.9
University degree 61.8 64.3 60.9 61.9 58.1 69.3 68.3 62.2 72.6 67.7


Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio, Ontario, Full-time, Full-year Workers
Cansim Table 2020102

Female-to-Male Earnings Ratio, Ontario, Full-time, Full-year Workers


[ 1 ] The appendix includes female-to-male earnings ratios based on annual averages for full-time, full-year workers in various categories for reference.

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