Posted Tuesday February 5, 2019

Standard of Living

Growth Distribution and Mobility in Ontario

Peter Weltman, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer has just released Income in Ontario: Growth, Distribution and Mobility, an assessment of the personal income of Ontarians.

“Assessing shifts in income is an important element in understanding the extent to which the material standard of living of all Ontarians is improving,” says Peter Weltman, Financial Accountability Officer of Ontario.

Since 2000, the growth of median income for Ontario families and unattached individuals was the slowest in Canada by a wide margin. Lower-income families experienced slower income growth than higher-income families and working-age singles and single-parent families experienced outright declines in their after-tax income after adjusting for inflation.

The distribution of income before taxes and government transfers has become more unequal in Ontario since 2000. But importantly, the tax and transfer system has played a key role in supporting low-income families and stabilizing the inequality of after-tax incomes.

Income inequality has become more entrenched, as lower-income Ontarians are increasingly staying in low-income, and higher-income Ontarians are increasingly staying in high-income.

Significant structural changes in Ontario’s economy and labour market, including a rise in part-time and temporary work, underpin many of these outcomes.

“These trends in Ontario incomes raise important questions about the role of government in ensuring that all individuals have access to similar economic opportunities,” says Weltman.

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ISSN 0824-45
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