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Section E: Wages and Working Conditions

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Noah M. Meltz, University of Toronto

Labour Income (Series E1-40)
Employment, Earnings and Hours of Work (Series E41-135)
Employer Labour Cost (Series E136-151)
Unemployment Insurance (Series E152-171)
Employment Service (Series E172-174)
Labour Unions and Strikes and Lockouts (Series E175-197)
Index Numbers of Wage Rates, Wage Rates and Salaries (Series D198-375)
Workmen's Compensation (Series E376-389)

The statistics of this section are in eight parts as follows: labour income (series E1-40); employment, earnings and hours of work (series E41-135); employer labour cost (series E136-151); unemployment insurance (series E152-171); employment service (series E172-174); labour unions and strikes and lockouts (series E175-197); index numbers of wage rates, wage rates and salaries (series E198-375); workmen's compensation (series E376-389).

The following notes for series El-171 were prepared by Mr. Don Bailey of Statistics Canada while those for series E172-389 were prepared by the author. The latter notes combined new material with an updating of the notes prepared for the first edition of Historical Statistics of Canada by Professor Douglas C. Hartle.

While a few new series have been added, several series have been dropped either because the particular surveys were discontinued or because the series had been developed by Professor Hartle for the first edition and those series could not be extended.

The main sources of data for this section are the following federal government publications: Department of Labour, Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, an annual publication since 1920 which has appeared under a variety of titles beginning with Wages and Hours of Labour in Canada, 1920, Report No. 1. Other publications of the Department of Labour are: Labour Organizations in Canada, annual from 1911 to 1973 then biennial for 1974-1975 and 1975-1976; The Labour Gazette, monthly since September 1900; Strikes and Lockouts in Canada, reviewed annually in The Labour Gazette until 1946, as a supplement to The Labour Gazette, 1947 to 1951, and as a separate document since 1952.

The following publications of Statistics Canada (until 1972 known as the Dominion Bureau of Statistics) were used: Labour Income, 1926-1958, 1960; Estimates of Labour Income, (Catalogue 72-005); General Review of the Manufacturing Industries of Canada, (Catalogue 31-201), years 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1961; Manufacturing Industries of Canada; National and Provincial Areas, (Catalogue 31-203), 1962 to 1975; Review of Employment and Payrolls, annual, 1939 to 1970; Employment, Earnings and Hours, (Catalogue 72-002); Review of Man-hours and Hourly Earnings, (Catalogue 72-202), annual, 1939 to 1970; Labour Costs in Canada, (Catalogue 72-610 to 72-618), selected years; The Labour Force, (Catalogue 71-001); Benefit Periods Established and Terminated Under the Unemployment Insurance Act, (Catalogue 73-201), annual 1942 to 1971; Statistical Report on the Operation of the Unemployment Insurance Act, (Catalogue 73-001); Earnings and Hours of Work in Manufacturing, annual reports, 1946 to 1969.

Other publications used are: Department of Health and Welfare, Government Expenditures and Related Data on Health and Social Welfare, 1947 to 1953, 2nd edition, and 1947 to 1959, 3rd edition (Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1955 and 1961); Economics and Research Branch, Canada Department of Labour: Union Growth in Canada 1921-1967, 1970; and Union Growth in Canada in the Sixties, 1976 (by J.K. Eaton).

The tables are available as comma separated value files (csv). They may be viewed using a variety of software. You may have to create an association between your software application and the csv files. The pdf files should be used to verify table formats. For example, footnotes appear in a column to the right of the cell they reference in the csv files; while in the pdf files footnotes appear as superscript numbers.

Labour Income (Series E1-40)

General note

The labour income estimates are industrial and geographic breakdowns of wages, salaries and supplementary labour income which form part of the gross national product estimates. The estimates for most industries are based on the data obtained in the census of industry annual surveys and other Statistics Canada surveys. As would be expected the estimates are probably less reliable for such sectors as service, agriculture and trade, and more recent estimates are probably more reliable than estimates for pre-war years. Sources and methods are discussed in the source document and in National Income and Expenditure Accounts, 1926-1974, Vol. 3, (Catalogue 13-549E), pp. 120-130.

Supplementary labour income includes expenditures by employers on labour account that can be regarded as payment for labour services. It includes employers' contributions to pension funds, employee welfare funds, unemployment insurance and workmen's compensation. Employer contributions to medical aid and hospitalization are excluded.

Table E1-13 Wages, salaries and supplementary labour income, by province, 1926 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E1-13
Wages, salaries and supplementary labour income, by province, 1926 to 1975

Source: for 1947 to 1975, Estimates of Labour Income; for 1926 to 1946, Labour Income, 1926-1958.

Table E14-29 Wages, salaries and supplementary labour income, by industry, 1926 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E14-29
Wages, salaries and supplementary labour income, by industry, 1926 to 1975

Source: same as series El-13.

Table E30-40 Annual wages and salaries in manufacturing, by province, 1926 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E30-40
Annual wages and salaries in manufacturing, by province, 1926 to 1975

Source: same as series E1-13.

This table supplements series El-13 and E14-29 by providing a provincial breakdown, excluding supplementary labour income.

Employment, Earnings and Hours of Work (Series E41-135)

General note

Statistics Canada produces, on a continuing basis, a large number of establishment derived series on employment, earnings and hours of work. This basic information is classified in a wide range of ways including industrial, regional, provincial and city breakdowns. The more important series from a variety of sources are presented here but many series have been omitted because of space limitations.

There are three basic surveys conducted by Statistics Canada from which the following series are derived: first, the census of industry surveys which have been conducted annually since 1917 and which, as the title implies, collect data from all establishments in the industry regardless of size. One of the more important of these surveys is the census of manufacturers which is the responsibility of the Manufacturing and Primary Industries Division.

Results of the census of manufacturers were published up to 1961, in the General Review of Manufacturing Industries. Since 1962, data from this survey have been published annually in Manufacturing Industries of Canada, National and Provincial Areas.

Prior to 1925, the number of production workers was computed as the sum of the numbers recorded each month divided by 12, whether or not the establishment was operating 12 months. Beginning with the statistics for 1925, in seasonal industries the average was computed by dividing the sum of the production workers on the 15th of each month by the number of months in operation. This change in method increased the apparent number of employees in groups containing seasonal industries and in the overall total. In 1931 the old method of computing the average number of production workers was again adopted.

Second, the survey of employment, payrolls and man-hours, which covers business establishments having 20 or more employees, has collected employment data from business establishments since 1921; payroll data since 1941 and man-hours data since 1945. The conduct of the survey is the responsibility of the Employment, Payrolls and Labour Income Section of the Labour Division.

Up to December 1970, data on employment and average weekly wages and salaries were published in the monthly publication Employment and Payrolls, and man-hours and hourly earnings were published in the monthly publication Man-hours and Hourly Earnings. Commencing with January 1971, these were consolidated in a single monthly publication entitled Employment, Earnings and Hours.

A basic limitation of this survey is the somewhat restricted industrial and establishment coverage. Some industries such as agriculture and fishing and trapping are not covered at all. Others such as services are only partially covered (government and health services for example are surveyed by other divisions of Statistics Canada).

The coverage within the industries that come within the purview of the survey is uneven. The monthly survey as noted covers larger firms only, that is, firms having 20 or more employees in any month of the year (prior to January 1971, firms with 15 or more employees were covered). However all establishments of a multi-unit company are included if the company had 20 or more employees in total. Because of this limitation, in industries where a large proportion of total employment is in a large number of small establishments (such as trade and service), coverage is substantially less than in highly concentrated industries such as mining.

Third, for many years, an annual survey of hours and earnings in manufacturing was conducted as a supplement to the monthly survey of employment, payrolls and man-hours. This annual survey was discontinued in 1969.

Table E41-48 Annual earnings in manufacturing industries, production and other workers, by sex, Canada, 1905, 1910 and 1917 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E41-48
Annual earnings in manufacturing industries, production and other workers, by sex, Canada, 1905, 1910 and 1917 to 1975

Source: for 1962 to 1975, Manufacturing Industries of Canada, National and Provincial Areas; for 1948 to 1961, General Review of the Manufacturing Industries; for 1905, 1910, 1917 to 1947 inclusive, the data were supplied directly by the Central Research and Development Staff, Statistics Canada.

Beginning in 1961, statistics of the manufacturing industries cover their total activity, including non-manufacturing activity. Data for employees other than manufacturing production and related workers of both sexes reflect this change and accordingly from 1961 on are not strictly comparable with data for earlier years.

Table E49-59 Average weekly wages and salaries, industrial composite, by province, 1939 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E49-59
Average weekly wages and salaries, industrial composite, by province, 1939 to 1975

Source: for 1971 to 1975, the monthly publication Employment, Earnings and Hours; for the period 1939 to 1970, Annual Review of Employment and Payrolls.

Table E60-68 Average annual, weekly and hourly earnings, male and female wage earners, manufacturing industries, Canada, 1934 to 1969. Opens a new browser window.

Table E60-68
Average annual, weekly and hourly earnings, male and female wage earners, manufacturing industries, Canada, 1934 to 1969

Source: for 1946 to 1969, Earnings and Hours of Work in Manufacturing; for 1934 to 1945, General Review of the Manufacturing Industries of Canada.

Data are not available after 1969 since the annual survey of earnings and hours of men and women working in manufacturing establishments was discontinued.

From 1934 to 1945 inclusive, all data refer to one week in the month of highest employment of all establishments covered by the annual census of manufacturers. In 1946 and 1947 the weekly and hourly data apply to the last week in the month of November; since 1947 they refer to the last week in October.

In 1969 the survey included all manufacturing establishments employing 20 or more persons in any month of the year representing approximately 90 per cent of the total number of employees working in the manufacturing industries of Canada.

Wage earners are defined as production and ancillary workers, including working foremen, route-drivers, shipping, delivery and maintenance staffs and related employees. Earnings comprise gross pay for the week, before deductions for taxes, unemployment insurance contributions and so forth. Gross pay includes salaries, straight-time wages, piecework and commission earnings, regularly-paid incentive, cost-of-living and other bonuses, overtime earnings and payments to persons absent with pay in the survey week. Supplementary labour costs are not included (see descriptive notes in Earnings and Hours of Work in Manufacturing, 1969, p. 40).

The annual earnings data was calculated separately from the census of manufacturers and was discontinued in 1959. For a description of the method of calculating annual earnings for males and females separately, see pages 84 and 85 of General Review of Manufacturing Industries of Canada, 1957.

Table E69-77 Average annual, weekly and hourly earnings, male and female salaried employees, manufacturing industries, Canada, 1946 to 1969. Opens a new browser window.

Table E69-77
Average annual, weekly and hourly earnings, male and female salaried employees, manufacturing industries, Canada, 1946 to 1969

Source: for 1946 to 1969, Earnings and Hours of Work in Manufacturing; for 1934 to 1945, General Review of the Manufacturing Industries of Canada, 1958, table 35, p. 82.

See notes to series E60-68.

Salaried employees comprise executive, administrative, supervisory and professional personnel and travelling salesmen directly responsible to the administration as well as general office and clerical workers in the office and plant, for whom statistics are segregated.

Table E78-85 Averages of weekly wages of hourly rated wage earners, selected industry groups, Canada, 1945 to 1970. Opens a new browser window.

Table E78-85
Averages of weekly wages of hourly rated wage earners, selected industry groups, Canada, 1945 to 1970

Source: for 1945 to 1970, Review of Man-hours and Hourly Earnings.

From 1945 to 1970, separate earnings data were collected and published for hourly paid workers in respect of whom records of hours were maintained. Commencing in 1971 earnings were published only for all wage earners including those for whom hours were not collected.

Weekly wage data are averages of wages paid for the last pay period in each month. Wages are gross earnings and include payments for overtime work, incentive bonuses and cost-of-living bonuses (if paid on a regular basis). They do not include payments made by employers to pension plans or social insurance schemes, such as unemployment insurance, on behalf of employees.

Table E86-103 Annual averages of weekly wages and salaries, selected industry groups and composite, Canada, 1939 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E86-103
Annual averages of weekly wages and salaries, selected industry groups and composite, Canada, 1939 to 1975

Source: for 1971 to 1975, Employment, Earnings and Hours; for 1939 to 1970, Annual Review of Employment and Payrolls.

Table E104-119 Average weekly wages and salaries, by major groups of manufacturing, 1939 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E104-119
Average weekly wages and salaries, by major groups of manufacturing, 1939 to 1975

Source: for 1971 to 1975, Employment, Earnings and Hours; for 1939 to 1970, Review of Man-hours and Hourly Earnings.

Table E120-127 Annual averages of hourly earnings of hourly rated wage earners, selected industry groups, Canada, 1945 to 1970. Opens a new browser window.

Table E120-127
Annual averages of hourly earnings of hourly rated wage earners, selected industry groups, Canada, 1945 to 1970

Source: for 1945 to 1970, Review of Man-hours and Hourly Earnings. See E78-85 regarding termination of series in 1970.

Table E128-135 Average weekly hours of hourly rated wage earners, selected industry groups, Canada, 1945 to 1970. Opens a new browser window.

Table E128-135
Average weekly hours of hourly rated wage earners, selected industry groups, Canada, 1945 to 1970

Source: same as series E120-127.

Employer Labour Cost (Series E136-151)

General note

A survey program to measure the cost to employers of the total compensation package was initiated by Statistics Canada in co-operation with the federal Department of Labour in 1967 (the Department of Labour dropped out of the program following the 1972 survey).

The initial survey was restricted to manufacturing. In subsequent years coverage was rotated on an individual industry basis to mines, quarries and oil wells in 1969 (and 1972), finance, insurance and real estate in 1970, trade in 1972, education in 1974, and services to business management in 1975. In 1976 the first all industry survey was carried out.

The Survey of Employer Labour Costs of 1977 obtained information from a sample of employers concerning the following items: pay for time worked (regular work and overtime, shift work, etc.); paid absence (vacation, paid holidays, sick leave, etc.); miscellaneous direct payments (severance pay, etc.); employer contributions or payments to social insurance, welfare and benefit plans (Unemployment Insurance, Workmen's Compensation, private pension plans, group life and health plans, etc.). The most recent survey covers reporting units with 20 or more employees in all industries except agriculture, fishing and trapping. Results of this survey are published in Labour Costs in Canada, All Industries, 1976, (Catalogue 72-618). Additional detailed information is contained in the technical notes found at the end of this publication.

Table E136-151 Estimated labour costs, selected industries, selected years, 1968 to 1976. Opens a new browser window.

Table E136-151
Estimated labour costs, selected industries, selected years, 1968 to 1976

Source: Labour Costs in Canada, for the industries and years specified, Statistics Canada, (Catalogues 72-506, 72-510, 72-511, 72-610, 72-613, 72-615 to 72-618).

The following detailed comments relate to the handling of certain items in series E136-151. Prior to 1976 commission and incentive bonuses were not identified as separate items in manufacturing; transportation and communication; finance, insurance and real estate; trade and education or in the case of mines, quarries and oil wells and services to business management were included in 'other pay for time worked'. Part-time casual wage earners were excluded from trade and part-time and casual teaching staff were excluded from education; employment agencies and security services were excluded from services to business management; provincial medicare was included in taxable benefits in manufacturing (1976), in mines, quarries and oil wells (1972, 1976), in transportation, communication and other utilities (1976), in finance, insurance and real estate (1976), in trade (1972, 1976), in education (1974, 1976), and in services to business management (1975, 1976); provincial medicare was also included in life and health plans in all the industries specified up to and including 1971.

As noted above the first all industry sample survey was taken in 1976. Data are based on the calendar year, thus the survey of manufacturing published in 1977 related to the calendar year 1976.

Unemployment Insurance (Series E152-171)

General note

A federal unemployment insurance scheme went into effect in July 1941. Since that time there have been extensive changes in coverage and in the provisions governing the payment of unemployment insurance benefits.

In assessing the statistics relating to coverage, claimants, beneficiaries and benefit paid presented in series E152-165 and E166-171, it must be kept in mind that these are byproducts of administrative operations. As such, while some series, for example benefit data, are influenced to a considerable extent by economic conditions, changes in the Unemployment Insurance Act, regulations and operational practices may also introduce sudden and often sharp discontinuities in the series presented.

The main changes in coverage were those related to changes in the wage ceiling as applied to salaried workers (wage earners from the inception of the act were insured regardless of earnings level), and extension of coverage to additional industries. Thus the wage ceiling was raised through successive increases from an initial level of $2,000 to $7,800 in 1968 and in the revision of the act in 1971, coverage became virtually universal regardless of earnings. Major extensions of coverage took place with the inclusion of lumbering and logging in 1950, fishing in 1957 and as noted, coverage was extended to all industries in 1971.

Some of the more important changes relating to qualifying for benefit and amount of benefit paid included reduction of the waiting period in 1952, easing conditions for re-qualifying for a second benefit period in 1955, elimination of restrictions on eligibility of married women to obtain benefit in 1957; benefit rates substantially increased in 1955 and duration of benefit increased in 1957 and 1971.

Table E152-165 Number of persons insured with unemployment insurance commission, by industry, at book renewal periods, 1942 to 1974. Opens a new browser window.

Table E152-165
Number of persons insured with unemployment insurance commission, by industry, at book renewal periods, 1942 to 1974

Source: for 1972 to 1974 inclusive, number of paid workers employed and unemployed at 1 June in each of these years, as reported in The Labour Force; for 1942 to 1971, Benefit Periods Established and Terminated Under the Unemployment Insurance Act.

As noted above, there have been sharp changes in the data due to extensions of industry coverage and upward adjustments in the wage ceiling. These are described in the annual issues of Benefit Periods Established and Terminated Under the Unemployment Insurance Act.

The estimates of insured persons by industry are based on a 10 per cent sample of unemployment insurance book renewals. No industry breakdown is available for 1972 to 1974.

Table E166-171 Unemployment insurance, insured population and beneficiary and claimant data, 1942 to 1976. Opens a new browser window.

Table E166-171
Unemployment insurance, insured population and beneficiary and claimant data, 1942 to 1976

Source: for all years, Statistical Report on the Operation of the Unemployment Insurance Act. (Estimates of insured population as published in this report were obtained by compiling annual averages of paid workers, employed and unemployed, reported in the monthly publication, The Labour Force).

As noted at the beginning of this section the series in this table must be interpreted with extreme caution because they reflect changes in administrative procedures, as well as economic conditions. The estimates of the insured population in series E152-165 do not equal estimates of the insured population in series E166-171. The former relates to a point of time and the latter to an annual average.

Employment Service (Series E172-174)

General note

Various provinces had employment services prior to 1919. These provided facilities, through local offices, for the listing of vacancies by employers and for applications for work by persons seeking jobs. The Employment Offices Coordination Act of 1918 made provision for federal government participation in the employment service with the Department of Labour being charged with the responsibility. The employment service was a joint dominion-provincial operation from 1919 until July 1941, with the federal government acting largely as a co-ordinating agency. With the establishment of national unemployment insurance, the employment service became mainly a national responsibility and has been operated nationally since 1 August 1941.

Until 1940, measures concerning unemployment, involving as they did civil rights, were the responsibility of the provinces. An amendment to the British North America Act in 1940 permitted the federal government to undertake an unemployment insurance operation. A federal unemployment insurance scheme went into effect on 1 July 1941 under the Unemployment Insurance Act of 1940.

The National Employment Service was separated from the unemployment insurance commission in 1965 and became an operating part of the Department of Labour. In 1966, both the unemployment insurance commission and the National Employment Service were transferred from the Department of Labour to the new Department of Manpower and Immigration and the National Employment Service offices were changed to become Canada Manpower Centres. In 1977, the department was renamed the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission and the centres became Canada Employment Centres.

Table E172-174 Monthly averages of applications, vacancies and placements by federal employment offices in regular and casual work, 1919 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E172-174
Monthly averages of applications, vacancies and placements by federal employment offices in regular and casual work, 1919 to 1975

Source: prior to July 1941, data from the Dominion-Provincial Employment Service published regularly in The Labour Gazette beginning with the issue for July 1919. From 1 July 1941 to 31 December 1960 the data are from monthly issues of The Labour Gazette and are based on returns made by the unemployment insurance commission on form 751. The data continued to be published in The Labour Gazette up to the April 1977 issue, with the last data relating to January 1977. The figures from 1961 were prepared by Mrs. M. F. Leslie of Manpower and Immigration.

These series should be interpreted with extreme caution, for they are a byproduct of administrative procedures and may reflect changes in those procedures as well as in underlying conditions. In particular it should be borne in mind that the applications and vacancy statistics are probably affected by prevailing employment conditions. With persistent and widespread unemployment, employers have ample applicants for jobs and may not register their vacancies with an employment agency. Similarly, under these conditions workers who are not entitled to unemployment benefits may not apply for jobs with the employment agency after repeated disappointments. The revisions in the Unemployment Insurance Act in 1971 which greatly extended the coverage has considerably reduced the number of persons who are not entitled to unemployment benefits.

Vacancies include the vacancies for casual placements except for the period 1 January 1968 to 31 May 1974. Placements also include casual as well as regular placements except for the period 1 January 1968 to 31 May 1974 when casual placements are excluded. The annual reports of the Department of Manpower and Immigration for 1970-71 to 1973-74 indicate a monthly average of casual placements of over 23,000. When this figure is added to those of both columns 173 and 174, the sharp reduction after 1968 in both vacancies notified and placements is moderated and is consistent in the general direction of change with information from other sources on vacancies, particularly Statistics Canada's Quarterly Report on Job Vacancies, (second Quarter 1977, pp. 20-21). For a discussion of the differences between Statistics Canada's Job Vacancy Survey and the figures from the Department of Manpower and Immigration see: Noah M. Meltz, 'Information Requirements for Government Programs Directed toward the Labour Market', a study prepared for the Economic Council of Canada, 1975. For earlier historical series see F. T. Denton, C. H. Feaver and A. L. Robb, 'Patterns of Unemployment Behaviour in Canada', a study prepared for the Economic Council of Canada, Discussion Paper No. 36, 1975.

From April 1943 to 27 March 1952 placements included 'transfers in' only. The definition of a placement was changed on 28 March 1952. Subsequent to that date placements included 'transfers out' (confirmed transfers between local Canada Manpower Centres in which one centre refers an applicant to a vacancy registered at another centre).

The substantial increases in the series in 1942 arose because of compulsory registrations of workers and vacancies during the war. See The Labour Gazette, May 1942, p. 551, June 1942, p. 675 and September 1942, p. 1018.

Labour Unions and Strikes and Lockouts (Series E175-197)

General note

The statistics of union membership and strikes and lockouts have been collected by the federal Department of Labour established in 1900 under the Conciliation Act, 1900. Included in its chief duties were the administration of certain provisions of the Conciliation Act 'designed to aid in prevention and settlement of labour disputes' and 'the collection and classification of statistical and other information relative to the conditions of labour' (Canada Year Book, 1920, p. 525). The department collected data on strikes and lockouts from the beginning; it was only in 1911 that the information it gathered on union membership was sufficiently complete to permit publication of a total.

For the long-term patterns in the development of the labour movement in Canada see: Economics and Research Branch, Canada Department of Labour, Union Growth in Canada, 1921-1967, Ottawa, Information Canada, 1970; and J. K. Eaton, Union Growth in Canada in the Sixties, Economics and Research Branch, Department of Labour, Ottawa, Information Canada, 1976.

An alternative source of data on union organization is contained in the Statistics Canada publication Corporations and Labour Unions Returns Act, report for 1974, Part II Labour Unions, (Catalogue 71-202). This report includes the following in its forward:

The Corporations and Labour Unions Returns Act, Chapter 26, 10-11 Elizabeth II, was passed by Parliament in April, 1962 and is administered by the Chief Statistician of Canada under the authority of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce. The purpose of the Act is to collect financial and other information on the affairs of certain corporations and labour unions carrying on activities in Canada. Such information was considered necessary to evaluate the extent and effects of non-resident ownership and control of corporations in Canada and the extent and effects of the association of Canadians with international labour unions. The legislation applies to every labour union in Canada having a local in Canada and 100 or more members resident in Canada.

The first report was released in July 1965 covering fiscal periods of corporations and labour unions ending in 1962. The union data in this and later reports differ from that published by Labour Canada in its Labour Organizations in Canada for two reasons. First, there are differences in the coverage of unions under the act and second, the reporting under the Corporations and Labour Unions Returns Act varies according to the fiscal periods of individual unions.

Table E175-177 Union membership in Canada, in total and as a percentage of non-agricultural paid workers and union members with international affiliation, 1911 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E175-177
Union membership in Canada, in total and as a percentage of non-agricultural paid workers and union members with international affiliation, 1911 to 1975

Source: for series E175-177, Labour Canada, Labour Organizations in Canada, 1976-1977; for series E175 and E177, 1911 to 1960, from estimates prepared for the first volume by Dr. J. T. Montague; 1961 to 1975, prepared by Mr. B. Fortin of Labour Canada from information contained in the annual reports. The percentage of non-agricultural paid workers in E176 was calculated using estimates of the actual number of non-agricultural paid workers in January of each year as provided by Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey. The figures for 1971 to 1975 are revised estimates which are not the same as the figures published in the annual reports for 1971 to 1975.

Until 1959 no specific definition of a trade union had been adopted by the department for statistical purposes so that the coverage probably was not entirely consistent from year to year. However, because the vast majority of union members belonged to trade organizations which posed no definitional problems, the marginal cases were not of great numerical importance and probably do not affect the trend significantly.

A substantial part of the increase in union membership from the mid-1960s was due to the inclusion of public sector employee groups, particularly government employee associations and teachers' associations. The large increase in 1967 resulted from the formation of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The detailed footnotes to series E178-189 show when the major groups were included in the union statistics.

Table E178-189 Union membership by congress affiliation, 1942 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E178-189
Union membership by congress affiliation, 1942 to 1975

Source: Labour Canada, Labour Organization in Canada, for the years to which the data apply except for 1971 to 1975 where revised figures have been provided by Mr. Bernard Fortin of Labour Canada.

The international affiliations of Canadian unions in the period covered were with either the American Federation of Labor (AFL) or with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), both having their membership mainly in the United States.

From 1942 to 1947 inclusive, the split in membership between 'other' unaffiliated international unions, series E187, and 'unaffiliated national, regional and local unions', series E189, was not given in the reports. In each of these years the total membership of the 'other' unaffiliated membership was determined from the data given in the table entitled 'International Unions; Number of Branches and Membership' in the annual reports, Labour Organization in Canada. This total was then subtracted from the item 'Unaffiliated National and International Unions'. This residual, together with the items giving the membership in national, regional or local unions, is given in the table as 'Unaffiliated National, Regional and Local Unions'.

Similarly, from 1942 to 1947, inclusive, the splits in membership between TLC only, series E179, and TLC/AFL, series E180, or CCL only, series E182, and CCL/CIO, series E183, were not given in the annual reports cited above. The membership of TLC only was determined by summing the membership of: international unions affiliated with TLC in Canada but unaffiliated in the United States; TLC national union affiliate; TLC local and federal unions. The same procedure was used to determine the membership of unions affiliated with CCL only.

This table could possibly be pushed back to earlier years using the data available in the annual reports, but the changing forms of the report make this procedure much more precarious for the years prior to 1942.

See the note to series E175-177 for a discussion of the basic data problem. The definitional problem is largely confined to the data included in series E189.

Since 1968 there has been over a fourfold growth in the category 'Other congresses and unaffiliated national, regional and local unions'. The main source of this increase has been the unaffiliated national and regional unions which grew from 77,489 persons in 1968 to 471,909 in 1977. This category largely comprises public sector employees, teachers, civil servants and nurses. The major changes are indicated in the footnotes to the table. Independent local organizations have actually decreased from 50,927 in 1968 to 40,239 in 1975. In 1975 there were a total of 60,633 in the two other congresses. These were the 20,352 member CCU (Confederation of Canadian Unions) founded in 1969 and the 40,275 member CSD (Centrale des syndicats d‚mocratiques) founded in 1972 by breakaway units of the CNTU.

Table E190-197 Number of strikes and lockouts, employers and workers involved and time loss, Canada, 1901 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E190-197
Number of strikes and lockouts, employers and workers involved and time loss, Canada, 1901 to 1975

Source: series E190-195 and E197 are from Labour Canada, Strikes and Lockouts in Canada, 1976 and 1977, table 1, pp. 5-6. Series E196 was calculated by dividing series E194 by series E193. Series E195 was calculated by dividing series E194 by the average annual number of non-agricultural paid workers obtained by Statistics Canada's Monthly Labour Force Survey. Series E197 was calculated by dividing the time loss in man working days (series E194) by the product of the number of non-agricultural paid workers times 252. The figure 252 was calculated as 52 weeks of 5 days each less 8 statutory holidays. In 1975 the figure 250 was used by assuming there were 10 statutory holidays.

Since 1964 data are based on strikes or lockouts which amount to 10 or more man-days as long as the duration was at least half a man-day. From 1958 to 1963 the data were based on strikes or lockouts involving six or more workers and lasting at least one working day, and strikes and lockouts lasting less than one day or involving fewer than six workers but exceeding a total of nine man-days. The basis for inclusion in the series prior to 1958 was unspecified. The figures from 1961 were provided by Mr. Ed Walker of Labour Canada.

The total number of workers involved includes the reported total number on strike or locked out, even if those on strike did not belong to the union. Workers laid off as the result of a work stoppage are not included. Where the number of workers involved varied in the course of the stoppage, the maximum number is used in tabulating annual totals. The total number of workers shown may include the same workers more than once, if they were involved in more than one work stoppage during the year.

Since 1956 the number of employees (series E192) has been deleted because in some cases, for example, the 'employer' is a builders' exchange that comprises a multitude of individual contractors. Series E195 and E196 have also been dropped because the former was unreliable and the latter was difficult to interpret.

Political strikes are included where the objective is to influence government policies affecting pay, working conditions or other labour related matters.

See the 'Explanatory Notes', pp. 91-93 of Strikes and Lockouts in Canada, 1976, for additional details and concepts.

Index Numbers of Wage Rates, Wage Rates and Salaries (Series D198-375)

General note

All the published data in the tables contained in this division were taken from annual wage reports of the Department of Labour. While the Department of Labour collected some data on wages and hours beginning in 1900, parts of which were published from time to time in The Labour Gazette, it was only in 1921 that publication of a series of regular annual reports on wages and hours began. Prior to 1950 these reports were published as supplements to The Labour Gazette; beginning with 1950 they have been published as separate documents. These reports are entitled Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Work. Until 1973 a single report was issued. From 1974 there was a series of separate reports for a number of major communities across Canada. From 1975, a separate report presenting information on a national basis was added to the series.

The early wage reports were based on information obtained from trade unions, collective agreements, departmental field representatives and The Labour Gazette field representatives throughout Canada as well as from an annual mail survey of employers. With the expansion of the survey of employers over the years the information obtained from employers has supplanted information obtained from other sources.

The following summary of the technical notes of the present survey is taken from Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, Canada, October 1976.

The survey, covering all establishments in Canada with 20 or more employees, is conducted by means of a reporting form which is mailed to employers. The form includes, for each occupation surveyed, a short description of the work characteristically performed.

These occupational descriptions are based on the Canadian Classification and Dictionary of Occupations, commonly referred to as the CCDO, which was developed and published by the Canada Department of Manpower and Immigration in collaboration with Statistics Canada in 1971.

The occupational descriptions included in the reporting schedules are designed to help employers identify the specific jobs for which wage information is requested. The descriptions are not to be construed as 'standards' for jobs in any particular establishment or industry, as the specific duties and work loads involved in some occupations may vary slightly from plant to plant, as well as from industry to industry.

The most important criteria used in selecting the occupations to be surveyed are the following: numerical importance, prevalence throughout the industry or community, importance in the production process, and capability of clear definition.

Employers are asked to submit returns on the basis of 'establishment' rather than for 'company' or 'enterprise', as many companies are of a multiple-unit type having one or more branches in different localities. Moreover, because of the variety of products made by some companies, all branches of the company may not come under the same industrial classification, as defined by Statistics Canada's Standard Industrial Classification Manual.

All major industrial areas are covered by this survey with the exception of agriculture, fishing, hunting, trapping and construction. Only the logging industry is covered in the forestry division.

The wage statistics generally apply to the last normal pay period preceding 1 October in the survey year. The term 'normal pay period' means a pay period in which there were no strikes, unusual layoffs or other abnormal conditions. Wage changes occurring on or after 1 October are not included, even where such changes are made retroactive.

For an average to be published for an occupation, the rates must apply to at least five employees in three establishments, or to 10 or more employees in two establishments, provided that more than 20 per cent of the total number of employees is reported by both establishments. Further to these criteria, the median, deciles and quartiles are not published unless the rates apply to at least 10 employees or more.

These criteria are applied for two reasons: to avoid revealing the rates paid by any one establishment; and to ensure a reasonable degree of representativeness of the data.

Some important features of the wage data are described below:

  1. The most common type of time rate for non-office employees is an hourly rate under which the employee is paid a fixed amount for each hour worked. Consequently, in cases where hourly rates are requested on the survey forms, and daily, weekly or monthly rates are reported, the reported rates are converted to an hourly basis. However, daily, weekly or monthly rates are sometimes shown for occupations in industries in which such methods of wage payment are common. When monthly rates are converted to weekly rates, or vice versa, a conversion factor of 4 weeks per month is used. When weekly rates are converted to hourly rates, the weekly rate (exclusive of overtime or other premiums) is divided by the standard weekly hours of work as reported. All rates include cost-of-living bonus payments where applicable.

  2. The most common types of straight-time earnings are those based on piece-work or various production or incentive bonus systems; other types are based on commission or mileage.

Overtime premium rates are not included in the wage figures published. Also excluded are shift differentials, non-production bonuses (except cost-of-living allowance payments), shares in company profits and the monetary value of fringe benefits such as group insurance, sick benefits, uniforms, etc. The rates are derived from the employee's wage before deductions are made for taxes, unemployment insurance contributions, pension payments, etc.

The rates published in this report are those applying to fully qualified employees in the occupations surveyed. Rates for beginners, learners, apprentices, improvers, foremen and lead hands are not included, although rates for helpers, which are sometimes requested on the reporting forms, are shown separately.

Rates for part-time employees working less than half the standard hours are not included.

Data for this section since 1960 were provided by Mr. Wayne Baxter of Labour Canada.

Table E198-208 Index numbers of average wage rates for selected main industries, 1901 to 1965. Opens a new browser window.

Table E198-208
Index numbers of average wage rates for selected main industries, 1901 to 1965

Source: for 1961 to 1965, Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, 1965, Report No. 48; pp. 26-27; for 1959 and 1960, Report No. 43, p. 26; for 1910 to 1958, Report No. 42, p. 26.

For a description of the construction of the indexes and their coverage see especially Reports Nos. 1, 3, 19, 24, 26, 36, 42, 43 and 48.

The method of constructing the indexes had one common element throughout the period. The first step was always to obtain a measure of the change in a rate for an occupation within an industry for each region. The occupational rate was in each case specific to the industry and the occupations were selected to be representative of all occupations in the industry. These measures of change of rate for an occupation within an industry were then averaged for all localities to give a countrywide average. The countrywide averages for all the occupations within an industry were then averaged to give a measure of the change for the industry as a whole on a countrywide basis.

A detailed discussion of the basis used to calculate the averages is contained in the 1960 edition of Historical Statistics of Canada, pp. 69-70 as well as in the notes to the reports cited above.

The series ends in 1965 since the use of the Standard Industrial Classification of 1960 prevented linking the particular industry groups beyond this point; see notes to series E209-219. Series E198-208 are based on 1949 = 100 while series E209-219 are based on 1961 = 100.

Table E209-219 Index numbers of average wage rates, for selected main industries, 1961 to 1972. Opens a new browser window.

Table E209-219
Index numbers of average wage rates, for selected main industries, 1961 to 1972

Source: for 1968 to 1972, Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, 1972, Report No. 55; for 1963 to 1967, Report No. 50; for 1962, Report No. 49. For a description of the construction of the indexes and their coverage, see Reports Nos. 49 and 55.

Four major changes were introduced in the 1966 survey:

  1. The classification of industries was changed from the 1948 to the 1960 Standard Industrial Classification. Complete details on this classification appear in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, (Catalogue 12-501.) The changes in the industrial presentation of the information caused by the introduction of the 1960 Standard Industrial Classification are summarized in the 'Technical Notes' of Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, Report No. 49, October 1966. The allocation of reporting units or establishments to individual classifications was also reviewed.

  2. A revised basis of geographic classification was introduced. As a result, the number of communities for which information is published was increased from 52 to 58.

  3. The index number series was revised to include the use of 1961 as base year and the selection of new occupational and geographical weights.

In addition to the above, a new series of data for the construction industry was introduced in the 1966 report. The figures shown are, with the exception of those for the province of Quebec, rates of pay and hours of work specified in collective agreements in effect at 1 October 1970. The figures for the communities in the province of Quebec are those established under the Collective Agreement Decrees Act, administered by the Building Trades Parity Committees in the province. The data was made available to the Canada Department of Labour by the various provincial labour departments or other provincial government agencies.

The series of index numbers for selected main industries was discontinued after 1972. This is due mainly to technical difficulties brought about by the conversion of the occupational titles and the duties of each occupation covered in the survey from the American Dictionary of Occupational Titles to the Canadian Classification and Dictionary of Occupations.

Table E220-247a Index numbers of average wage rates for industry groups and selected components in manufacturing, Canada, 1939 to 1972. Opens a new browser window.

Table E220-247a
Index numbers of average wage rates for industry groups and selected components in manufacturing, Canada, 1939 to 1972

Table E220-247b Index numbers of average wage rates for industry groups and selected components in manufacturing, Canada, 1939 to 1972 CONCLUDED. Opens a new browser window.

Table E220-247b
Index numbers of average wage rates for industry groups and selected components in manufacturing, Canada, 1939 to 1972 CONCLUDED

Source: for 1961 to 1972 on a 1961 = 100 base, see Labour Canada, Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, Report No. 55; for earlier years, see Wage Rates and Hours of Labour: annual reports as follows for indexes on the base 1949 = 100: 1965 to 1961, No. 48; 1960 and 1959, No. 43; 1958 to 1954, No. 41; 1953 to 1949, No. 36. Indexes on the base 1939 = 100: 1953, No. 36; 1952 to 1949, No. 35; 1948 to 1941, No. 31; 1940 to 1939, No. 26.

See the discussion of series E198-208. From 1939 on indexes for a much larger number of industry groups were published. The 1949-based series end in 1965 since the use of the Standard Industrial Classification of 1960 prevented linking the particular industry group beyond this point.

Table E248-267a Hourly wage rates in selected building trades, by city, 1901 to 1974. Opens a new browser window.

Table E248-267a
Hourly wage rates in selected building trades, by city, 1901 to 1974

Table E248-267b Hourly wage rates in selected building trades, by city, 1901 to 1974 CONCLUDED. Opens a new browser window.

Table E248-267b
Hourly wage rates in selected building trades, by city, 1901 to 1974 CONCLUDED

Source: Department of Labour, Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, annual reports as follows: 1974 to 1947, Nos. 57-30; 1946 to 1942, No. 29; 1941 to 1929, No. 25; 1928 to 1920, No. 14, 1919 to 1901, No. 1.

Rates are given here for four occupations in five major Canadian cities. Comparable data for other occupations and cities also have been published. It is believed that these series for the building trades are among the most consistent series which have been published in the annual wage reports. In 1973 the survey introduced new titles and definitions of occupations based on the CCDO. The department believes that for traditional occupations such as those in this series and for occupations which cut across industries, the change in definitions has not significantly altered the comparability of the results. It should be noted, however, that there is a possibility that in some cases the data for 1973 and subsequent years may not be entirely comparable.

The published wage rates for each occupation represent the 'prevailing' rates in the particular city. Up to 1965 these data were obtained from a field survey conducted by the Industrial Relations Branch of the Department of Labour for the administration of the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act. Since 1966 the data on the construction industry, with the exception of Quebec, have been based on rates of pay and hours of work specified in collective agreements in effect at 1 October of each year. The figures shown are, with the exception of those for the province of Quebec, rates of pay and hours of work specified in collective agreements in effect at 1 October 1966. The figures for the communities in the province of Quebec are those established under the Collective Agreement Decrees Act, administered by the Building Trades Parity Committees in the province. The data were made available to the Canada Department of Labour by the various provincial labour departments or other provincial government agencies. The rates are 'deemed to be generally accepted as current for competent workmen in each trade or classification employed in the location indicated', and in nearly all cases are union rates.

The rates published for this and all other industries in the annual wage reports do not include overtime earnings, shift differentials, non-production bonuses (except cost-of-living bonus payments), shares in company profits and the monetary value of such fringe benefits as group insurance, sick benefits, uniforms, etc. The rates are derived from the employee's wage before deductions are made for taxes, unemployment insurance contributions, pension payments, etc. The rates are intended to apply to fully qualified workers in their occupations. Unless otherwise stated, the rates apply to male workers only. Where women and men are reported in an occupation, separate rates are shown for them. Rates for beginners, learners, apprentices, foremen and lead hands, are not included, although rates for helpers are sometimes shown separately. The rates for part-time employees working less than half the standard hours are not included.

Table E268-279 Hourly wage rates in selected occupations in the pulp and paper industry, for Canada and by region, 1911 to 1920 and 1943 to 1974. Opens a new browser window.

Table E268-279
Hourly wage rates in selected occupations in the pulp and paper industry, for Canada and by region, 1911 to 1920 and 1943 to 1974

Source: for 1943 to 1974, Department of Labour, Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, Reports Nos. 26-57 for 1911 to 1920, No. 1.

Wage rates were published for the years 1920 to 1941 but they are not included here because of difficulties in deriving a consistent time series.

Table E280-295 Hourly wage rates for selected occupations in the motor-vehicle industry, 1943 to 1974. Opens a new browser window.

Table E280-295
Hourly wage rates for selected occupations in the motor-vehicle industry, 1943 to 1974

Source: for all years, Department of Labour, Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, Reports Nos. 26-57.

The wage rates are weighted average rates prepared by the Department of Labour. Until 1958 all of the reporting establishments were located in Ontario. Prior to 1945 the industry was called the automobile industry. It is now defined to include 'establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing or assembling complete motor vehicles such as passenger automobiles, commercial cars and buses, trucks, and special purpose motor vehicles' (see Report No. 55, p. 163). Consistent data are not available prior to 1943.

Table E296-325 Average hourly wage rates for selected maintenance and service occupations, by city, 1956 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E296-325
Average hourly wage rates for selected maintenance and service occupations, by city, 1956 to 1975

Source: for all years, Department of Labour, Wage Rates, Salaries and Hours of Labour, Reports Nos. 39-58.

The wage and salary data published on a community basis are derived from survey returns for establishments having 15 or more employees in the community up to 1965 and 20 or more employees from 1966 onward. Where no information is published for an occupation, insufficient data are available to meet the criteria for publishing an average or range of wage rates for an occupation (see Report No. 47, Technical Notes, for description of the publication criteria applied to the results of the survey).

Table E326-375 Average weekly salaries for selected office occupations, by city, 1956 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E326-375
Average weekly salaries for selected office occupations, by city, 1956 to 1975

Source: same as series E296-325.

See the note to series E296-325.

Workmen's Compensation (Series E376-389)

General note

Workmen's compensation is under provincial jurisdiction. The data, therefore, are obtained from reports of the various provincial workmen's compensation boards. Data since 1960 were provided by Mr. Jim Wong of Labour Canada.

Table E376-386 Industrial accidents, fatal and nonfatal, reported by provincial workmen's compensation boards, by province, 1928 to 1974. Opens a new browser window.

Table E376-386
Industrial accidents, fatal and nonfatal, reported by provincial workmen's compensation boards, by province, 1928 to 1974

Source: federal Department of Labour, and its publication, The Labour Gazette and 'Work-Injury Experience and Cost in Canadian Industry' (annual). The data were published first in the March issue, 1931, and annually in the issues for the same months until 1945, in the April issues of 1946 to 1952, in the June issue, 1953, and in May issues, 1954 to 1965. Subsequent revised data are shown in the following issues: July 1966; August 1967; and July of 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971. The 1963, 1967 and 1969 figures were subsequently revised slightly because of changes in particular provincial data. Data from 1970 to 1974 were provided by the Department of Labour with the totals shown in The Labour Gazette, December 1977, p. 553.

The principal limitation of these series is that they do not include accidents of workers not covered by workmen's compensation. For a number of provinces accidents which required 'medical aid only' were not reported in the early years; only accidents which required compensation were included. The source document provides details on the number of fatal accidents and the number that involved permanent disabilities.

Table E387-389 Provincial expenditures for workmen's compensation, 1921 to 1975. Opens a new browser window.

Table E387-389
Provincial expenditures for workmen's compensation, 1921 to 1975

Source: data for series E389 for the years 1921 to 1943 are from an unpublished table supplied by the federal Department of National Health and Welfare, Research Division, and are based on information provided by the National Income Section of Statistics Canada. For years 1947 to 1952 the data are from the federal Department of National Health and Welfare, Research Division, Government Expenditures and Related Data on Health and Social Welfare, 1947-1953, table 9, p. 21 (second edition). For the years 1953 to 1958 the data are from the third edition of this report which covers the years 1947 to 1959, appendix 10. Data were not available for 1959 to 1961 inclusive. From 1962 the data were provided by Labour Canada. For 1967 to 1975 see The Labour Gazette, December 1977, p. 555.

The data give totals for all provinces. Prior to 1947 only the 'total' expenditures, and then only for some years, were available.


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