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July 2002     Vol. 3, no. 7

Better jobs in the new economy?

Marie Drolet and René Morissette

  • While employees in knowledge-based workplaces generally work longer hours, they also receive higher wages. On average, hourly wages in knowledge-based industries were 32% higher than in other industries. However, after differences in education, size and location of workplace, occupation, and hours are controlled for, the gap drops to 8%.
  • Compared with other workers, employees in knowledge-based workplaces are not necessarily better covered by a registered pension plan. However, they often receive employee stock options and are more frequently involved in group registered retirement savings plans.
  • Knowledge-based workplaces offer fitness and recreation services and employee assistance programs (such as counselling, substance abuse control, financial assistance, legal aid) more frequently than other workplaces, and child care services at least as often.
  • Employees in knowledge-based workplaces are more likely to have performance appraisals. Furthermore, the results are more likely to affect their pay or benefits.
  • Workers in service-producing, knowledge-based workplaces are less likely to be unionized than other workers (except those in retail trade and consumer services). As a result, few have a formal grievance system.


The authors are with the Business and Labour Market Analysis Division. René Morissette can be reached at (613) 951-3608; Marie Drolet, at (613) 951-5691; or either, at

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