Just before the pandemic began, the Bank of Canada conducted the 2020 Wage-Setting Survey. The goal was to explore the unusual trend of subdued wage growth in 2018 and 2019 despite a tightening in the labour market. Although this wage puzzle was beginning to resolve at the time of the survey, results highlight changes in several factors that may have important impacts on wage dynamics.
Data show that income inequality in Canada increased substantially during the 1980s and first half of the 1990s but has been relatively stable over the past 25 years. This increase was felt mainly by low-income earners and younger people, while older people benefited from higher retirement income.