Common Sense Canadian

BC income growth declines to last place in country

PostedJanuary 22, 2015 by in Western Canada
BC income growth declines to last place in country

Photo: Tourism Vancouver

Read this Jan. 22 Vancouver Sun story by Peter O’Neil on a new study suggesting average incomes in BC actually declined from 2006-2012.

OTTAWA — B.C. experienced the worst income growth — in fact, incomes declined — of any province in Canada during the 2006-12 period, according to an analysis of Statistics Canada data by an Ottawa think-tank.

B.C.’s inflation-adjusted median income fell 2.4 per cent, from $29,917 per tax filer to $29,200, during a period when Canada’s overall employment income grew by 3.5 per cent. Median income is the midway point between the lowest and highest incomes.

Ontario, with a manufacturing sector devastated by the 2008 recession, suffered a 1.7-per-cent decline and was the only other province to suffer negative growth.

The bleak performance was particularly striking in B.C. cities, with Metro Vancouver employment incomes falling three per cent, Victoria’s 4.8 per cent, and Abbotsford’s 5.1 per cent.

Oil-producing provinces, not surprisingly, did far better than the national average. Newfoundland incomes soared just under 38 per cent, while Saskatchewan’s jumped 25 per cent and Alberta 13 per cent.

The data, collected by the left-leaning Broadbent Institute and put into charts to allow regional comparisons, plays into the growing political debate heading into the 2015 election of which party best serves the struggling middle class.

“This (the national rate) is certainly a better performance than some other advanced economies, but basically represents a very, very modest increase,” wrote Andrew Jackson, the institute’s chief economist.

He said in an interview Wednesday the contraction in Ontario and B.C., compared to pumped-up wages elsewhere, points to a flaw in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s strategy since 2006 on making Canada an oil and gas “superpower.”

“Certainly Ontario and B.C. are doing much less well, and that does suggest a need for a more balanced approach.”

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Common Sense Canadian



    I find it very disturbing that an organization that claims to have “An uncommonly sensible take on our economy and environment” still chooses to ride along on the bandwagon of perpetual growth. Perpetual growth of the Almighty Economy or monetary measuring sticks such as GDP, incomes, prices, or Standard of Living translates directly into environmental degradation and indirectly, I believe, into reduction of Quality of Life (my life in any case). Why is there no indication that this could be a positive step on the way to a no growth or steady-state economy where we could all take a breath, stop chasing illusions and fantasies, and maybe get a bit of enjoyment out of life? If incomes stopped rising, prices would follow; if not, within decades we will run out of safe water, nutritious food, clean air, forests, grasslands and food from the oceans – failed biological experiment.


    I am not sure how Vancouver keeps going on and on when incomes are declining, and house prices/rents are through the roof.


    some things are more important than money.


      Like food and shelter ?…..Yeah , those cost money .

      Contact me and I’ll gladly relieve you of any of that useless money .


      Until you dont have enough to pay your bills.
      You know, pesky things like rent, food, heat, power, phone, internet…….
      And Vancouver is the secon most expensive city in the world to buy a house…..
      Something is gonna give.

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