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PayScale Releases Employee Compensation Index for Canada

Index shows positive salary and labor trends in Canada compared to down U.S. market

Seattle - July 22, 2011 - PayScale, Inc. today announced the launch of The PayScale Index for Canada, which tracks quarterly, national compensation trends for Canada starting in Q1 2007 through the latest quarter (in this case Q2 2011). 

The PayScale Index for Canada measures the quarterly change in the total cash compensation of full-time, private industry employees nationally, using 2006 average total cash compensation as a baseline. A notable finding is that before the U.S. recession in late 2008, wages were growing in Canada at a healthy rate of 3 to 4 percent year-over-year. When wages finally tumbled in 2009, they did so for three brief quarters. Wages then recovered quickly and have been generally growing ever since.

"According to The PayScale Index, Canadian wages are up about 1.5 percent in the last year and a half. In comparison, U.S. wages are unchanged over the same time period. So while Canadians are enjoying wages today (in Canadian dollars, not adjusted for inflation) greater than the peak in 2008, the typical U.S. worker has wages about 1.5 percent lower than in 2008, and even heading slightly downward in Q2 2011," says Dr. Al Lee, Director of Quantitative Analysis at PayScale.

Canadian workers' pay is subject to the same supply-and-demand forces as the U.S., but the difference is that employment is up in Canada and unemployment down. Comparatively, in the U.S., employment is virtually unchanged over the last year, and unemployment is staying high, based on data from theU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Statistics Canada.

  • In the last year and a half, employment in the U.S. is up less than 1 million in a workforce of 139 million (0.7 percent growth).
  • In contrast, employment in Canada is also up a little under 1 million in the same time, but that is for a workforce of only 17 million workers (5 percent growth).
  • The net result is that Canada currently has 7.4 percent unemployment, while the U.S. is still at 9.2 percent.

Adds Lee: "The PayScale Index shows evidence of a relatively healthy labor market in Canada. Canadian wages are up due in part to an increased demand for labor, shown by their 5 percent employment growth. Compare this to the U.S. labor market, during the same time period, which has had little to no growth in both wages and employment."

About The PayScale Index
The PayScale Index utilizes a unique approach to trend measurement. Unlike indices such as the Consumer Price Index, which measures the prices of certain goods and services (periodically updated to reflect changes in buying habits of Canadians), The PayScale Index uses data on all private-sector, full-time employees working in a given time period.

PayScale has performed a detailed analysis of how various compensable factors, like work experience, education, employment setting and job responsibilities affect pay. This analysis is based on PayScale's extensive data of more than 23 million employee profiles, accounting for 250 compensable factors for 7,000 unique job titles, which show how the pay of actual workers varies with each of these factors.

About PayScale ( is the leading online provider of employee compensation data. With the world's largest database of individual compensation profiles, PayScale provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers. PayScale's patent-pending, real-time profiling technology collects and indexes employee pay attributes worldwide and makes this compensation data available through its online salary tools and salary benchmarking reports. PayScale was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Seattle. For more information, visit: About PayScale.

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