U.S. tech workers earn 46 per cent more than Canadian counterparts

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A study by Toronto Metropolitan University has found that tech workers in the United States earn an average of 46 per cent more than their Canadian counterparts, even after adjusting for the exchange rate and cost of living.

According to the report, U.S. tech workers earn an average of C$122,604, while their Canadian counterparts make C$83,698.

Non-tech workers in America earn an average of C$51,830, whereas in Canada, they earn C$46,311. 

The report, titled “Mind the Gap: Compensation Disparity Between Canadian and American Technology Workers,” also found that the wage gap is even wider for women and minority tech workers. For example, women tech workers in Canada earn an average of C$73,932, while men earn C$86,574. In the U.S., women tech workers earn C$103,078, while men earn C$129,657.

In Canada, the median wage compensation stands at C$83,698, while in the United States, it’s notably higher, at C$122,604. This equates to a substantial 34% median wage gap between the two nations, indicating that the median wage in the United States is 34% higher than that in Canada.

The report also found that the wage gap persists across all educational attainment levels. For example, tech workers with a bachelor’s degree in Canada earn an average of C$88,483, while those with a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. earn an average of C$122,604. 

For individuals with a College Diploma, in Canada, the median wage is C$77,648, whereas in the United States, it’s C$92,057. This gap amounts to 19 per cent, while those with a High School Diploma in Canada, the median wage is C$55,479, whereas in the United States, it’s C$84,926. 

For those with no degree or just a high school diploma, in Canada, the median wage is C$59,726, while in the United States, it’s C$42,139. This results in a negative median wage gap of -29 per cent, indicating that those without a degree or with just a high school diploma in Canada earn 29% more than their counterparts in the United States.

The median wage for Canadians with Doctorate degrees is C$106,026, whereas in the United States, it is to C$160,776. This is about 51 per cent median wage gap. The disparity continues for individuals with a Master’s degree. In Canada, the median wage is C$92,938, while in the United States, it reaches C$141,543. 

The report’s author, Vivian Li, senior policy analyst at the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University, said the findings are “alarming” and raise concerns about the competitiveness of the Canadian tech industry.

“The U.S. offers better wages than Canada despite the talent and potential that Canada possesses through its graduates and institutions,” Li said. “If we’re not competitive, we could further lose this valuable asset thereby dwarfing our capability to grow and strengthen our overall economy and prosperity.”

Simply paying workers more may not be a viable option, particularly for small and medium-sized firms according to the report. Finding a lasting solution to the issue include promoting growth-oriented policies that, coupled with strong labour protections, allow tech companies to grow and expand their ability to offer competitive pay.

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