Experienced Canadian helicopter pilots have expressed their concerns about employers hiring cheap temporary foreign workers instead of them, by denying the experienced pilots these jobs. The pilots say that if left unchecked, this trend of hiring cheap temporary foreign workers could spell the death knell for the industry.
Bill Wadsworth is a helicopter pilot in Mayne Island, British Columbia, with about 25 years of experience. He said that he had recently applied for several jobs at various companies in the province. While he was not selected or shortlisted for any of the jobs he applied for, he did come to know that several companies to which he had applied had subsequently sought cheap temporary foreign workers. Ironically, each of the companies to which Mr. Wadsworth applied had mentioned that they had no openings at the time.
In a subsequent interview, Mr. Wadsworth said that he often came across job postings for pilots that offered hourly rates well below the prevailing industry standards. While this would effectively drive down wages in the near future, according to him, this practice of hiring cheap temporary foreign workers instead of experienced Canadian helicopter pilots would eventually lead to the demise of the industry.
Mr. Wadsworth said that this practice showed how Canadian employers were leveraging foreign workers against experienced Canadian pilots. “They’re leveraging the foreign workers against the Canadian pilots, essentially threatening Canadians by saying: ‘We’re paying these guys so little and we’re only going to pay you 10 dollars an hour more. So you either go with the flow here or we’re hiring TFWs and you’re out of work,” he said.
Kirsten Brazier, a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot in Vancouver has encountered similar experiences. She said that employers were increasingly telling Canadian pilots across the country that the Canadian pilots were under-qualified, thereby emphasizing the need to hire cheaper temporary foreign workers. In doing so, these employers were simply exploiting the loopholes in the system and hoodwinking the federal government.
The Canadian Press examined several applications for temporary foreign workers, filed by private helicopter operators from across Canada and found that these hiring companies have expressed their inability to find domestic candidates who possess the required skills.
Ms. Brazier said that the practice of not employing Canadian pilots would damage the industry in the end, as operators would use the program as a justification for disqualifying competent Canadian pilots.
Source: The National Post
As wealthy Americans continue to forge ahead of several of their global peers, the American middle class – for long the most affluent in the world – seems to have lost that distinction, according to an analysis conducted by New York Times.
The analysis, based on surveys conducted over the past 35 years, shows that citizens of other advanced countries have obtained considerably larger raises over the past three decades across the lower-and-middle-income tiers. In addition, Canadian middle class incomes (after tax) are higher than in the United States – this, after falling significantly behind US middle class income standards in 2000. The numbers suggest that high and rising income inequalities are to blame for this decline in American middle class income levels.
Most economic experts cite statistics like the per capita gross domestic product to show that the US has maintained its lead as the world’s richest country. However, these figures do not focus on the distribution of the income, as much as they do on averages. As most recent income gains usually flow to a relatively smaller group of high-earning households, it is clear that most Americans are not at par with their counterparts around the globe.
Three factors could be behind this phenomenon. Firstly, educational attainment has slackened in the US as opposed to other parts of the industrialized world. This has made it harder for the American economy to retain its control over high-skilled, well-paying jobs. While American aged from 55 to 65 years have above average literacy, numeracy and technology skills as compared to 55-to-65-year-olds in the rest of the industrialized world, Americans from 16 to 24 years of age rank closer to the bottom among rich countries.
The second factor contributing to this is that companies in the US distribute a smaller share of their wealth to the middle class and the poor as opposed to companies elsewhere in the industrialized world. Finally, the governments in Canada and Western Europe are aggressively ensuring that they redistribute income to raise the take-home pay of low-and-middle-income households.
Despite this drop in income levels for the American middle class and the poor, the fact remains that the US continues to register stronger economic growth. Americans still earn 20 percent more than their Canadian counterparts do. They also earn about 26 percent more than their British counterparts and 50 percent more than their Dutch counterparts do. However, it appears that only a small percentage of American households is benefiting from this growth of the world’s most prosperous economy.
Source: The New York Times
A recent study released by Statistics Canada has revealed that the wage gap between a college or a university degree graduate and a high school diploma holder is narrowing.
According to the federal data agency, while high school graduates are making wage gains, the wages earned by post-secondary school degree holders are either remaining flat or decreasing (as in the case of male post-secondary school degree holders). This showed that education did not lead to greater increases in wages, for the short-term at least.
Statistics Canada studied the data on the earnings of the two groups for two different time periods – from 2000 to 2002 and then, from 2010 to 2012. Between these two periods, males having a high school diploma as their highest level of education registered an increase in wages of nine percent. Similarly, women belonging to the same educational group showed an increase of 11 percent in their salaries.
In comparison, the data agency found that the average real hourly wages of young male bachelor’s degree holders remained unchanged, even as their female counterparts registered an increase in their average real hourly wages of five percent.
Experts – like public policy professor Ken Coates – felt that this study revealed that people placed undue emphasis on the knowledge economy, which had not resulted in the creation of many knowledge-based jobs. As a result, the country’s natural resource economy, along with the service industry, had been responsible for powering the country’s growth.
The study also revealed that post-secondary degree holders continued to earn more than their lesser-educated peers did, but not by much. Data showed that for every $1 earned by a male degree holder between 2010 and 2012, a high school graduate earned 75 cents – a marginal rise from 68 cents in the previous decade.
Similarly, for every $1 earned by a female college or university degree holder, a female high school graduate earned 78 cents – up from 74 cents a decade ago. Statistics Canada attributes a third of the narrowing of the wage gap for women to the fact that many provinces have increased their minimum wages.
While the data agency declared that individuals with a higher education had a greater likelihood of having jobs, high school graduates were doing comparatively better in terms of salary growth, even though few high school graduates preferred sticking to just a high school diploma, without looking to pursue a higher education.
Source: CBC News
Canada has overtaken the United States as having the richest middle class in the world, according to a new report from the New York Times.
Though the richest Americans still earn more than their counterparts in other developed nations, the growth of America’s middle class has remained comparatively stagnant over the last decade. The average income, after tax, for a family of four in the U.S. is $75,000. Though an exact average was not provided for Canada, the authors of the report conclude that it is “most likely” higher, since wages in Canada caught up to the U.S. back in 2010, and have likely now surpassed them.
Canada’s mid-level strength, the report argues, is likely due to the country’s wealth re-distribution policies. However, some financial experts in Canada are concerned that Canada’s wealth gap is now, in fact, growing in similar fashion to the U.S.
“Increasingly, whatever wage gains there are have been tilted to a select group of higher-paid sectors, leaving the median worker with leaner improvements,” said economists at CIBC in a report last month.
The CIBC report also found that median wages in the country are not growing as fast as other incomes, with only 1 percent improvement last year. Additionally, middle-class Canadians have less disposable income than expected.
Still, however, Canada’s middle-class was not as hard hit during the recent global recession as many Americans, particularly those who lost thousands in the recent housing bust. Overall, the Canadian system appears to have more checks in place to ensure the economic stability of its middle-class, though these certainly do not dissolve Canadians of having fiscal responsibility, particularly in light of recent concerns over the country’s growing consumer debt.
Source: Global News
A new study by Statistics Canada reveals that Canadian families have become wealthier during the past several years, based on their rising net worth. The study published all its figures in inflation-adjusted dollars.
According to the study, which takes a long-term view on the state of Canadian finances, the 2012 medium net worth among family units comprising two or more members rose by 44.5 percent since 2005 to $243,800. This increase almost touched the 80 percent mark, on comparing current net worth with data from 1999.
Interestingly, this increasing net worth comes despite two major negative factors i.e. the setbacks arising from the recent recession as well as the well-documented growth in household debt.
The agency found that family units comprising two or more family members also accumulated a total debt of $1.3 trillion in 2012, of which $1 trillion is mortgage debt. Thus, while the net worth showed an increase of 44.5 percent since 2005, the mortgage debt also rose by 41.6 percent since 2005.
The study showed that total family assets in Canada rose to $9.4 trillion in 2012, with the families’ principal home accounting for a third of the total assets. People owning their own homes showed the median reported value of their residence at $300,000 – an increase of 46.6 percent since 2005 and of 83.2 percent since 1999.
Pension assets e.g. employer plans and private pension plans, made up 30 percent of the total. Other real estate holdings e.g. rental properties, cottages, timeshares and commercial properties, accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total assets.
The study also revealed large disparities in net worth, depending on factors like the age, nature of the family unit and regions of the country. Thus, the median net worth was highest for families where the highest earner was 55 to 64 years old or for families residing in British Columbia.
According to Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter, over the 13-year period, the net worth rose by over five percent annually, which also ensured that the assets exceeded the size of debt by about seven times. He felt that this was the most significant aspect of the study.
Source: National Post