Alberta’s gender wage gap is partly to blame for the province receiving a “C” grade when it comes to socio-economic performance.
The Conference Board of Canada released its first report card on how Canada and its provinces perform when compared to other regions around the world in the following categories:
- Education and skills
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Overall, Canada received a “B” grade and ranked 10th among the 16 countries included in the “How Canada Performs: Society” report card.
Canada ranked 13th out of 26 when the country was compared to the provinces and the other countries. The United States came in last overall.
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Alberta performed poorly on a number of equity measures, receiving a “D” for perceived social network support, which reflects an individual’s perception of being able to count on someone else in times of need.
Alberta also received a “D” on gender wage gap. The province has the third-highest gender wage gap among all 26 regions in the report, with a difference in median weekly earnings of close to 25 per cent between men and women. Only Japan and Newfoundland fared worse.
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Alberta received “C” grades when it comes to homicides, voter turnout and the immigrant wage gap. Alberta has a 25.9 per cent difference between the earnings of university-educated landed immigrants and Canadian-born citizens, above the national average of 20.6 per cent.
“Alberta’s ranking on the society report card highlights the need for improvement on some key social challenges, such as the gender wage gap and the wage gaps of immigrants and people with disabilities,” said Craig Alexander, senior vice-president and chief economist with The Conference Board of Canada.
“Improving labour market opportunities and conditions for disadvantaged groups can help the province boost social and economic performance.”
The best grades come on poverty and life satisfaction, for which Alberta received an “A.” Alberta has the lowest poverty rate among all the provinces and the third-lowest among all 26 jurisdictions, after Denmark and Finland.
However, the report card is based off of pre-recession data from 2013.
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Norway ranked number 1 overall, with Denmark and Sweden coming in second and third.
To read the full report card, visit the Conference Board of Canada’s website.