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Albertans earn Canada’s top wages

ATB Financial reports median annual family income of $78,800.


June 19, 2012
Joe Terrett

CALGARY: Regular monthly statistics reports show Albertans earn the healthiest weekly paycheques in the country, but the same point is highlighted in a separate report on household income: Alberta is the place to be for top wages, says ATB Financial.

The median annual family income in Alberta in 2010 was $78,800. This is after taxes (which lower household income) and transfers from the government such as Old Age Security and Employment Insurance (which add to household income). The figure is for total combined family income with at least two people in the home.

Alberta is clearly an outlier compared to the rest of the country. Families in this province take in 19.2% more after-tax dollars than the national average of $65,500.

Alberta family income is even 11.4% higher than it is in Saskatchewan, which holds the #2 spot with median after-tax income of $70,100.

The fact that Alberta’s annual income is the highest among the provinces is due to several factors. Without question its strong economy is the leading contributor. With a healthy job market, low unemployment and rising weekly wages, it comes as no surprise that annual income is soaring. Taxes are generally lower and hours worked per week are high.

And demographics also play a role. Alberta has the youngest population in the country (which is also related to the strong job market). Because there are relatively few seniors, the median income tends to be pushed higher as incomes for retired Canadians are generally lower than those still in the job market.

ATB Financial is an Edmonton-based financial institution with assets of $31 billion serving Alberta.

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