Making More While Making Less

Happy Black Friday. And hello to friends from Victoria. I’ve only visited once but had a great time. Butchart Gardens was my favorite part.

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New payroll and employment numbers just came out. On average Canadians make $873 per week, up 1.1% from last year. While that’s better than no growth at all, the inflation rate has been about 3% so in real terms, we are actually losing purchasing power, despite having a bigger paycheck. Trying to beat inflation with wage hikes is not easy, that’s why we need a hedging strategy, which will match the inflation rate, if not surpass it. But not all jobs are created equal. There will always be opportunity out there for those who know where to look.

Growing industries with demand for new workers and increasing wages:
Forestry, logging and support. – Pay = 22% above national average, 10% yearly wage growth
(the world wants our lumber)
Construction  – Pay = 28% above average, 5.2% wage growth
(more buildings for our growing population)
Professional and technical services – Pay =29% above average, 4.6% growth
(lawyers, engineers, accountants, modern society cannot function without these people)

Weaker industries (at least for now):
Manufacturing – Pay = 12% above average, 0.1% yearly wage growth
(many of these jobs are going off shore to cheaper labor)
Finance and insurance – Pay = 12% above average, -5.2% yearly wage contraction
(low interest rates + clients switching from high fee mutual funds to etfs = less revenue)
Educational services – Pay = 5% above average, -2.7% wage contraction
(tighter gov’t budgets)

Wages are based on what companies can afford to pay their employees, so it’s mostly about supply and demand. And when you think about why some industries are strong and others are weak, it should all make sense. You don’t need to study or work harder to get ahead. Just work smarter. Enter a field with less competition. Learn to market yourself. Invest your savings, and you’ll do great.

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