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Appendix – Ontario Snapshot

Note: Data in this section uses Statistic Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey, the Labour Force Survey and Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.

Labour Force Status

Over 6.8 million people are in the labour force (both employed and unemployed). 3.3 million, or 48.4%, are women. Of the 3.6 million people who are not in the labour force, over 2 million (or 57.8%) are women.

Men have a higher labour force participation rate (69.9%) than women (61.4%) and a higher employment rate (64.2% to 56.3%). Men and women have the same unemployment rate (8.3%).

Gender Wage Gap

Based on average annual earnings for all earners, Ontario’s gender wage gap has narrowed from 55.6% in 1976 to 44.4% in 1986 and 31.5% in 2011. In ten years between 1976 and 1986, the gender wage gap narrowed by 11.2 percentage points, but it only closed by a further 11.3 points in the next 24 years between 1987 and 2011.

Based on hourly wages, for both full time and part-time employees, the gender wage gap is smaller. The average hourly wage gap increased from 18.0% in 1997 to 20.2% in 2001, then narrowed to 15.9% in 2006 and rose again to 16.5% in 2007 before falling to 12.0% in 2011.

Work Activity

Work activity refers to the number of weeks in a year in which a person worked for pay or in self employment. Men work almost one more week on average than women in a year. Of those who worked, the majority (both men and women) worked 49-52 weeks.

Full time Work / Part-time Work

The majority of employed women worked full time (nearly 2.3 million women). However, 26.7% of all women who worked (over 800 thousand women), worked part-time compared to 14.2% of all men.

Women’s share of full time employment has been increasing slowly from 38% in 1987 to 44% in 2014. During that same time, women’s share of part-time employment decreased moderately from 71% in 1987 to 66% in 2014.

Research often cites caregiving and family responsibilities as a reason why women work part-time. In 2014, 11% of women reported working part-time because of caring for children and a further 3% cited other personal or family responsibilities.

Female part-time workers have higher average hourly wages than their male counterparts (a -15% male-female gap in 1997 and a -7.6% gap in 2014). However, part-time workers tend to earn less per hour than full time workers. Based on average hourly wages among full time employees, the gender wage gap has persisted, though it narrowed from 16.0% in 1997 to 9.6% in 2014.

Permanent and Temporary Work

The gender wage gap, measured by average hourly wages, was more pronounced for permanent employees (12.5%) than temporary employees (9.6%) in 2014. However, since 1997, the gender wage gap for permanent employees has decreased from 18.7%, while the gap for temporary employees has risen from 6.4%.

Minimum Wage Work

It is important to note that for those earning minimum wage, there is no gender wage gap because both men and women earn the same minimum wage rate. However, more women than men work in minimum wage jobs. In 2012, 58.3% of minimum wage earners in Ontario were women, so overall women still face a disadvantage in terms of wages.

Age

A notable trend is that younger women have stronger earning power. For women aged 15-24 years the gender wage gap narrowed from 8% in 1997 to 5% in 2014 (average hourly wages), and narrowed from 33% in 1976 to 19% in 2011 (average annual earnings).

Marital Status

Married women experience a much higher gender wage gap (measured by average annual earnings) than those who are never married. However, married women experienced a larger decrease in their gap of 17.2 percentage points (from 46.6% in 1976 to 29.4% in 2011) compared to 3.7 percentage points (from 12% in 1976 to 8.3% in 2011) for women who were never married.

Education

Based on average annual earnings, from 1987 to 2011, the gender wage gap for full time full year workers has narrowed for all education levels except for those with a university degree. Women with a university degree experienced an increase in the gap by 2% over this period, resulting in the largest wage gap at 30.9% among all education categories in 2011.

Fifty seven percent of women (56.8%) have a college, CEGEP, or other nonuniversity certificate or diploma and about a third have an apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma. In terms of having a university certificate, diploma or degree at bachelor level or above, women and men are at 23.8% and 23.0% respectively. Women and men with no certificate, diploma, or degree are at 18.4% and 18.9% respectively as their highest level of education.

The most popular field of study for over 700,000 women is business, management and public administration. Over 600,000 women are in the health and related field, which is 80.9% of all students in that field. Architecture, engineering and related technologies is a large field of study with over 1.1 million individuals, however, only 9.2% are women.

Occupations and Industries

Female-dominated occupations have seen little change since 1987. The following occupations have consistently had 50% or more of women: health occupations; business, finance and administrative; social science, education, government service and religion; sales and service; and art culture, recreation and sport.

A similar trend can be seen in female-dominated industries. Since 1987, health care and social assistance, educational services, accommodation and food services, and finance insurance, real estate and leasing have had over 50% female employees.

The highest number of women are employed in sales and service occupations (nearly 900,000), business, finance and administration occupations (nearly 800,000), and occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (over 500,000).

Health occupations have the highest share of women compared to men (80.1% are women). Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations have the highest share of men compared to women (93.5% are men). It is also the category with the highest number of men (over 800,000), followed by sales and service occupations (nearly 700,000) and management occupations (nearly 500,000).

Industry refers to the general nature of the business carried out in the establishment where the person works. The three industries with the highest number of women are health care and social assistance (nearly 600,000), retail trade (just over 400,000), and educational services (over 300,000). For men, it is manufacturing (nearly 500,000), construction (nearly 400,000), and retail trade (over 300,000). The highest concentration of women (82.6%) is in health care and social assistance. For men, it is construction (88.4%).

Industry refers to the general nature of the business carried out in the establishment where the person works. The three industries with the highest number of women are health care and social assistance (nearly 600,000), retail trade (just over 400,000), and educational services (over 300,000). For men, it is manufacturing (nearly 500,000), construction (nearly 400,000), and retail trade (over 300,000). The highest concentration of women (82.6%) is in health care and social assistance. For men, it is construction (88.4%).

The gender wage gap differs depending on the occupation and industry. In management occupations – which account for some of the highest hourly wages – the hourly gender wage gap has improved from 21% in 2008 to 12% in 2012. In senior management occupations, the gender wage gap was even smaller at 10% in 2008 to 6% in 2012 but only 0.3% of women worked in senior management jobs compared to 1% of employed men.

In child care and home support worker occupations, where women make up 93% of workers, women actually earned more than men based on an average hourly rate of $16.59 compared to $15.08 in 2012; even so, these women were earning almost $6 per hour less than the average female hourly wage.

Women in trades, transport, primary industry, and utilities experienced the highest hourly gender wage gap (between 24% to 28% in these jobs in 2012). The job categories with the highest percentage of women – business, finance and administration and sales and services had hourly gender wage gaps in the middle of the range of all occupations (14% and 20%). With respect to STEM fields (i.e., science, technology, engineering, engineering technology, mathematics and computer science), there are approximately 2.6 times more men than women working in these industries.

Unionization

Using average hourly wages, the gender wage gap for both unionized and non-unionized workers has narrowed from 1997-2014, though the gap remains higher for those with no union coverage. The narrowing of the gap has also been steadier for unionized employees.

The gender wage gap decreased from 9.8% in 1997 to 4.6% in 2014 for unionized employees, but fell from 20.6% in 1997 to 16.4% in 2014 for non-unionized employees.

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