White Canadians earn more than non-white Canadians, even when comparing only the whites and non-whites with the same education and of the same age. Comparing only the foreign-born white Canadians with the foreign-born non-white Canadians, white people earn more. Comparing only the second-generation, Canadian-born white Canadians with the second-generation, Canadian-born non-white Canadians, white people still earn more.
In other words, even when controlling for age, education, and generation, white Canadians earn more than non-white Canadians. Racial appearance causes the difference in earnings.
Wellesley Institute’s study, Canada’s Colour Coded Labour Market, was released in March 2011 and draws on data from the last mandatory long-form Census (which has been cancelled recently by the politically-conservative Harper government):
THE LAST AVAILABLE CENSUS DATA before the federal government cancelled the country’s mandatory long form Census reveals a troubling trend in Canada.
Despite years of unprecedented economic growth and an increasingly diverse population, this report confirms what so many Canadians have experienced in real life: a colour code is still at work in Canada’s labour market.
Racialized Canadians encounter a persistent colour code that blocks them from the best paying jobs our country has to offer.
Default explanations like “it takes a while for immigrants to integrate” don’t bear out. Even when you control for age and education, the data show first generation racialized Canadian men earn only 68.7% of what non-racialized first-generation Canadian men earn, indicating a colour code is firmly at play in the labour market. Here, the gender gap — at play throughout the spectrum — becomes disturbingly large: Racialized women immigrants earn only 48.7 cents for every dollar non-racialized male immigrants earn.
The colour code persists for second generation Canadians with similar education and age. The gap narrows, with racialized women making 56.5 cents per dollar non-racialized men earn; while racialized men earn 75.6 cents for every dollar non-racialized men in this cohort earn.
- Skin colour matters in access to good jobs (Toronto Star)
- Canada’s Colour Coded Labour Market (PDF) by the Wellesley Institute
- Women of colour earn 53 cents for every white man’s dollar. by Restructure!
- Asians are not all rich. by Restructure!
- What’s in a Name? Your Job! by Sobia at Racialicious