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Socio-economic Profile of Canada's Fishing Industry Labour Force 1994–2006

Portrait of the total employment income of workers in the fishing industry

This section reviews the total employment income of workers in the fishing industry. This income represents the sum of earnings from all jobs held by workers in one of the fishing based sectors.

2.1 Net income of self-employed fish harvesters according to gender

Before examining the overall employment income picture, this section of the report analyzes the net income from fishing reported by both male and female self-employed fish harvesters in 2006. This income includes only the earnings from harvesting minus the expenses incurred to obtain the earnings. Therefore, it provides a partial portrait of the total employment income in the fishing industry.

Across Canada, net fishing income for male self-employed fish harvesters is higher than for their female counterparts. In 2006, females reported an average net income of $10,472, corresponding to 89% of the net earnings of male harvesters (Table 2.1). The gap in earnings between women and men, shown in Figure 2.1, varies considerably from one region to the next. It is surprising that in New Brunswick, women reported an average net income equal to only 42% of net earnings of men. In contrast, female harvesters in Quebec and British Columbia earned more in net fishing income than men, namely 119% and 122% of the net income observed among men. To get a more complete picture of the income disparity between the genders, a comparison of the total incomes for men and women is presented in Section 3.1.

Figure 2.1 Average Net Income of Self-employed Fish Harvesters Based on Gender and Region, 2006

Bar chart depicting the Average Net Income of Self-employed Fish Harvesters Based on Gender and Region for 2006.

View long description of this chart.

Source: Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Income statistics, Final statistics – Sampling data, 2008 issue (2006 tax year), basic table 4 – All declarations are based on age and gender.

Table 2.1 Average Net Fishing Income of Self-employed Fish Harvesters Based on Gender and Region, 2006
  Men $ Women $ Women - Men Income Ratio %
Newfoundland & Labrador 9,950 6,789 68
Prince-Edward Island 18,785 17,301 92
Nova Scotia 14,988 14,527 97
New Brunswick 8,263 3,510 42
Quebec 8,325 9,879 119
British Columbia 15,350 18,760 122
Canada 11,731 10,472 89

Source: Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Income statistics, Final statistics - Sampling data, 2008 issue (2006 tax year), basic table 4 - All declarations are based on age and gender.

2.2 Total employment income based on age and work sector

In all categories of work throughout the fishing industry, workers under 20 years of age have the lowest incomes. In this age group in 2006, self-employed fish harvesters reported the highest average total employment income, $10,412. They were followed by aquaculture workers ($8,487), wage-earning fish harvesters ($7,697) and fish processing workers ($5,376). The average employment earnings for the fishing industry as a whole stood at $6,538, which is a few hundred dollars less than the average total employment income of all Canadians in this age group (Table 2.2 ).

In general, average total employment income increases with age, except for individuals 60 years or older. In 2006, with the exception of the fish processing sector, the highest earning age group were those between 40 to 59 years of age. This group was followed by workers aged 20 to 39 years. These observations are identical to those in other Canadian industries. In addition, the employment incomes of fishing based workers 20 years and older are significantly lower than the average earnings of Canadians. In 2006, among those aged 40 to 59, Canadian workers posted an average employment income of $44,791, corresponding to more than double the earnings of workers in the fishing industry ($19,932). For those 20 to 39 years and 60 years and older, the earnings gap compared to the average Canadian worker is not as great but is still significant at about 70%. For all age groups, Canadians earned on average $35,493, which is 95% more than the earnings of workers in the fishing industry ($18,207).

Table 2.2 Average Total Employment Income Based on Age and Sector, 2006
Age Average Total Employment Income ($)
Self-employed Fish Harvesters Wage-earning Fish Harvesters Fish Processing Workers Aquaculture Workers Fishing Industry as a Whole Canadian Industries as a Whole
Less than 20 years old 10,412 7,697 5,376 8,487 6,538 6,659
20 to 39 years old 17,109 22,565 14,349 24,966 17,862 30,390
40 to 59 years old 17,268 26,205 17,776 31,736 19,932 44,791
60 years old and more 12,636 23,385 22,488 27,692 18,025 30,651
Total 16,348 23,534 15,803 26,181 18,207 35,493

Note:
Statistics for Canadian industries as a whole are calculated using CRA data, income statistics, provisional statistics – Universal data, 2008 issue (2006 tax year), table 4 – All declarations are based on age and gender.

Moreover, in 2006, aquaculture workers reported the highest average total employment income in the fishing industry ($26,181), while wage-earning fish harvesters came in second ($23,534), followed by self-employed fish harvesters ($16,348) and fish processing employees ($15,803). Table 2.2 details the average total employment income by age group and category of workers.

2.3 Total employment income based on work sector and region

A portrait of total employment income, shown in Figure 2.2 for the entire fishing industry is not reflected uniformly in all regions. Employment income varies by province. In all work sectors except self-employ fish harvesting, Ontario based workers reported the highest average total employment incomes in the country in 2006, at $33,725. After Ontario, the next highest employment earnings come from Nova Scotia at $24,852, Alberta at $23,818, and British Columbia at $22,319. As for total employment incomes for people living in the Northern Territories, it came out to $19,450, slightly above the national average (Table 2.3). However, given the small number of workers in this region, about 300 in 2006, this average is sensitive to changes in income from even a small number of workers.

Figure 2.2 Average Total Employment Income Based on Sector and Region, 2006

Bar chart depicting the Total Employment Income Based on the Primary Sector and Province,Territory for 2006.

View long description of this chart.

The analysis of total employment income in the Atlantic Provinces and British Columbia, two regions which together contain almost 90% of jobs in the fishing industry, reveals that workers in British Columbia have much higher employment incomes than their counterparts living on the east coast. Moreover, aquaculture workers in British Columbia had the largest income disparity compared to workers in the Atlantic Provinces.

In 2006, workers in British Columbia recorded incomes 32% higher on average than their Atlantic counterparts. Incomes for workers in British Columbia were 75% higher than in Newfoundland and Labrador, and 62% and 52% higher in Quebec-Atlantic and New Brunswick respectively.

In contrast, Nova Scotian workers posted incomes 10% higher than those in British Columbia. This is driven by the higher incomes earned by self-employed fish harvesters and fish processing workers. Besides Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island is the only other province which has reported higher incomes than British Columbia, such as the self-employed fish harvesters.

Table 2.3 Average Total Employment Income Based on Sector and Region, 2006
  Average Total Employment Income ($)
Self-employed Fish Harvesters Wage-earning Fish Harvesters Fish Processing Workers Aquaculture Workers Fishing Industry as a Whole
Atlantic Provinces 16,262 22,405 14,005 20,555 16,962
Newfoundland & Labrador 11,484 20,466 11,135 16,375 12,784
Prince Edward Island 22,808 16,352 14,829 17,463 18,250
Nova Scotia 24,439 27,149 22,380 20,392 24,852
New Brunswick 14,206 17,985 12,299 23,236 14,665
Quebec (Atlantic) 16,053 15,907 11,670 14,438 13,809
Quebec (Whole Province) 17,104 16,186 13,000 15,255 14,629
Central Provinces 7,887 33,440 27,647 31,322 23,917
Ontario 14,324 42,394 32,274 35,769 33,725
Manitoba 5,694 8,944 20,231 16,226 10,836
Saskatchewan 4,041 21,456 19,667 31,039 8,100
Alberta 17,415 34,361 19,698 23,494 23,818
British Columbia 19,355 34,107 19,180 33,404 22,319
Northern Territories 16,843 n.a. 15,649 n.a. 19,450
Yukon n.a. n.a. 20,401 n.a. 20,401
Northwest Territories 3,921 n.a. 25,652 n.a. 14,787
Nunavut 21,150 n.a. 12,648 n.a. 20,157
Canada 16,348 23,534 15,803 26,181 18,208

2.4 Total employment income based on the industry

This section analyzes the total employment income of fishing industry workers compared to the earnings of workers in other primary industries. This comparison will highlight the income gap between fishery workers and workers in other industries that form the primary sector. Results show a large income gap between workers in the primary sector and fishing industry workers. In 2006, workers in the primary sector recorded average employment earnings of $50,537, which corresponds to 2.8 times the employment income of fish harvesters. The average employment income of workers in the oil and gas industry reached $98,144, five times those of fish harvesters. It was $78,861 and $40,670 respectively for workers in mining and forestry (Table 2.4).

Table 2.4 Average Total Employment Income Based on the Primary Sector and the Province / Territory, 2006
  Average Total Employment Income ($)
Fishing Industry Forestry Oil and Gas Extraction Mining Other Industries in the Primary Sector Primary Sector as a Whole
Atlantic Provinces 17,118 28,725 60,501 55,928 16,397 27,939
Newfoundland & Labrador 12,726 34,117 71,294 69,464 13,214 29,789
Prince Edward Island 18,882 22,655 37,862 30,181 17,879 20,373
Nova Scotia 25,559 21,670 60,079 42,129 15,650 27,293
New Brunswick 14,396 21,415 48,767 51,332 15,958 27,172
Quebec (Atlantic) 14,165 32,907 51,314 57,463 17,434 29,569
Quebec (Whole Province) 14,908 34,088 50,096 59,063 17,864 30,656
Central Provinces 22,801 40,694 102,714 87,239 22,753 65,045
Ontario 34,251 41,381 63,381 93,435 21,016 39,860
Manitoba 10,363 25,258 51,466 69,437 23,891 33,509
Saskatchewan 5,861 26,167 68,949 83,727 21,554 51,300
Alberta 19,186 45,539 108,705 81,838 28,232 92,179
British Columbia 23,078 50,571 68,473 112,197 19,477 45,665
Northern Territories 16,056 19,218 56,702 68,193 16,269 59,503
Yukon 17,481 17,778 52,235 42,151 17,132 40,799
Northwest Territories 11,096 19,698 59,479 86,680 15,510 72,886
Nunavut 17,059 n.a. 24,033 30,271 16,384 25,716
Canada 18,301 40,670 98,144 78,861 20,623 50,537

Moreover, in 2006, the primary sector as a whole posted higher employment incomes than fishing industry workers in all provinces and territories. In addition to these observations, it is important to note that the difference in employment incomes, shown in Figure 2.3, between fishing industry workers and workers in other primary industries is smaller in the Atlantic Provinces than in the rest of the country, except for Newfoundland and Labrador. Primary sector workers in the Central Provinces (285%) and the Northern Territories (418%) posted the highest employment incomes as compared to fishery workers in their regions.

Figure 2.3 Total Employment Income Based on the Primary Sector and Province / Territory, 2006

Bar chart depicting the Total Employment Income Based on the Primary Sector and Province,Territory for 2006.

View long description of this chart.

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