27 August 2008

News Flash! The poor get poorer

Working Canadians are a little poorer today than they were a year ago. At least on average. According to Statistics Canada, while average weekly earnings from June, 2007, to June, 2008, rose 2.5 per cent, consumer prices rose 3.1 per cent. In other words, workers' purchasing power dropped 0.6 per cent.

Some industries did better than others. Workers in mining and oil & gas, for example, saw their earnings rise 8.2 per cent to $1,528.79 per week. Workers in retail trade, on the other hand, saw only a 1.6 per cent increase to $491.76. A classic example of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.

Particularly disturbing is that retail trade is Canada's largest employer with almost two million workers. The trend of fewer people getting more and more people getting less seems to continue. If the tide is rising, most boats are sinking.

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