Average Salary In Canada: Top Paying Provinces and Trends

Discover the 2024 average salary trends across Canadian provinces, key factors driving regional wage differences, and top-paying industries. Stay informed to stay competitive in the Canadian job market.

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In order to stay competitive in the Canadian job market, you will want to know more about the average annual income, and the average wages that Canadian workers earn across the country.

Companies and enterprises will want their finance departments to become well versed in the average pay across all Canadian job sectors to be able to fully participate in Canada's economy and fully engage with its talented labor force.

In this article, we’ll cover the regional differences when it comes to average earnings across Canada and gain insight into the fastest growing industries in Canadian job sectors.

What is the Average Salary in Canada for 2024?

Average Salary in Canada 2024: Based on Stats Canada, the average salary in Canada is $72,800 per year or $34.85 per hour average across all industries.

Provincial Average Salary: The average salary varies by province, with the highest average salary in Alberta and the lowest in the Maritime provinces.

Minimum Wage by Province: The minimum wage in Canada varies by province, with the highest minimum hourly wage in Ontario at $17.20 and the lowest in the Maritime provinces around $15.30 per hour.

How do Average Salaries Vary Across the Country?

Here is a breakdown of the average salaries by province in Canada. This report was compiled in 2024 using the full 12 month data source from 2023:

Alberta: $73,612 per year

British Columbia: $70,847 per year

Manitoba: $59,391 per year

New Brunswick: $59,151 per year

Nova Scotia: $57,378 per year

Ontario: $70,160 per year

Prince Edward Island: $55,358 per year

Quebec: $66,218 per year

Saskatchewan: $63,359 per year

Yukon: $66,605 per year

Northwest Territories: $79,446 per year

Nunavut: $79,881 per year

What Factors Influence Regional Differences in Annual Salary?

Several factors contribute to regional differences in average salaries across Canada:

  1. Cost of Living: Areas with higher costs of living typically offer higher salaries to compensate. Major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary often have higher average salaries compared to smaller cities or rural areas.
  2. Industry Concentration: Different regions specialize in various industries. For example, Alberta's focus on oil and gas can lead to higher salaries in that sector compared to regions with different economic bases.
  3. Labour Market Demand: Regions experiencing high demand for specific skills or industries may offer higher salaries to attract talent. Tech hubs like Waterloo or Ottawa might have higher average salaries due to demand for tech-related skills.
  4. Employment Opportunities: Regions with strong job markets and low unemployment rates tend to offer higher salaries to compete for skilled workers. This is often seen in booming urban centers.
  5. Government Policies: Provincial and municipal policies on minimum wage, taxation, and economic incentives can impact average salaries. For instance, provinces with higher minimum wage rates may see higher average wages overall. Additionally, often the federal government will decide to establish department headquarter in certain areas therefore raising the average salary in the area.
  6. Education and Skills: Regions with higher education levels and specialized skills training may command higher salaries across various sectors, influencing regional wage disparities.
  7. Unionization and Collective Bargaining: Presence and strength of unions can affect salary levels, with unionized sectors often seeing higher wages in certain regions. Depending on the industry sector, generally, unionized jobs offer higher or above-average income.
  8. Economic Development: Regions undergoing economic growth or decline can experience fluctuations in average salaries as industries expand, contract, or relocate.

Understanding these factors helps to explain why average salaries can vary significantly between different regions across Canada, reflecting local economic conditions, industry dynamics, and policy influences.

How Does the Industry Sector Influence Average Salary by Canadian Province?

Provincial industry sectors significantly influence salary disparities across Canada.

Alberta's robust natural resources sector, particularly in oil and gas, leads to higher compensation compared to regions with different economic focuses.

Conversely, provinces emphasizing health care services, like Ontario and Quebec, offer competitive wages to meet demand for skilled professionals.

These regional variations highlight how local economic priorities and sector strengths shape average salary levels within Canadian provinces, illustrating the diverse economic landscapes and distinct labor market dynamics across the nation.

Employers need to understand these factors to ensure they support job seekers.

Why are Average Salaries Important?

Knowing the average annual salaries and the highest average income will help inform companies and enterprises on how much salary to offer prospective employees when looking to gain experienced workers.

On the other hand, job seekers looking to move to Canada may be looking at the job market and average income in order to decide whether to take up residence in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador or British Columbia for example.

How do Average Wages Compare for Different Job Sectors?

Average wage by industry can inform companies on how to set salaries; it can provide valuable insight for job seekers when planning for their next career move.

Using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), we can see that the average wage is highest in the utilities sector at $49.41 per hour.

This is followed closely by forestry, including timber harvesting, fishing, mining, oil and gas extraction at $47.40 per hour. Those working in public administration can expect to earn an average wage of $42.61 per hour.

On the lower end of the average wage table, you will find the retail sector at $25.94 per hour and the lowest, food services and accommodation at $19.68 per hour.

Salary Growth is Expected to Continue in 2024

According to Normandin Baudry, the average Canadian salary will continue to grow in 2024. For companies, managing salaries proactively is important amidst Canada's economic uncertainty, inflation, and labour challenges. Forecasts for 2024 suggest a moderate 3.6% increase, excluding freezes—down from previous years yet above historical norms.

According to some analysis, the highest growth in salaries will be in real estate, high technology and pharmaceutical and biotechnology. Private sector companies will offer higher average annual salary increases while public administration will see employees take home smaller increases.

Current unemployment is down in Canada

Another indicator of Canada's economy is the unemployment rate. According to Statistics Canada, the number of Canadians drawing from Employment Insurance (EI) is down by 2.8% this spring after remaining steady in the first months of the year.

However, the total number of regular EI beneficiaries, on a year-over-year basis, was up by 60,000 (+15.1%) in April 2024.

Looking at a Labour Force Survey

What Percentage of Canadians Make Over $100,000 Per Year?

Looking at income inequality, Statistics Canada has analyzed all tax filers with income and found that approximately 12% of Canadians make over $100,000 per year.

This means that nearly 3.5 million people in Canada surpass the 100k mark. However, only 2% of filers earn over $200,000 per year, making the average Canadian salary seem and average wages across the country seem very low.

What is the Median Income in Canada?

While there are naturally those who earn more money, the median income noted in the same study was only $41,650. This seems to demonstrate that high paying jobs are rarer than job seekers would like. However, the media income has continuously increased over the previous year.

What is a middle class income in Canada?

Determining who among Canadian workers are considered middle class is not a question that is easily answered.

According to one study, eight-in-ten Canadians consider themselves middle class. However, the respondents' average annual salary varied greatly with 39% of those earning less than $20,000 stating they feel they are middle class and 92% of those earning more than $150,000 feeling the same.

Regardless of individual opinions on what the median income is what the average Canadian earns, over three-in-four (77%) of people responding to the survey believe that the middle class is shrinking.

The Differences in Average Salary in Canada

Understanding the nuances of average salaries across Canadian provinces reveals significant regional disparities influenced by factors such as cost of living, industry concentration, and labor market dynamics.

As Canada navigates economic uncertainties, projections indicate moderate salary growth in 2024, particularly in sectors like real estate, high technology, and pharmaceuticals.

These insights can support both employers seeking to attract talent and job seekers evaluating opportunities across different provinces. With ongoing economic shifts and varying perceptions of middle-class status, the landscape of average incomes in Canada remains dynamic, reflecting broader societal and economic trends.

Navigating the complexities of hiring and managing employees across different regions can be challenging. At Knit, we simplify this process with our comprehensive Employer of Record (EOR) services. Whether you are looking to expand your business into new markets or streamline your payroll and HR processes, our platform offers the solutions you need.

Contact us today to discover how Knit can help you attract top talent, ensure compliance with local employment laws, and manage your global workforce efficiently.

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