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Study shows growing gap between the richest and poorest families: 2003-2006

by NationTalk on September 7, 2009327 Views

Press Release
September 3, 2009

Regina — For the past thirty years, the richest in the province have secured the lion’s share of Saskatchewan’s economic growth, while those at the lower end of the income spectrum have made few or no gains over the same period. That is the conclusion of the Saskatchewan CCPA’s new report: Boom and Bust: The Growing Income Gap in Saskatchewan.The report’s author – Paul Gingrich retired professor of Sociology and Social Studies at the University of Regina – finds that the gap between the richest and poorest families in Saskatchewan has increased dramatically over the past generation and has mushroomed since 2000 – during the best of economic times.

In 2006, Saskatchewan’s after-tax income gap was the third worst in all of Canada. Mirroring trends in all Canadian provinces, inequality of earnings increased among Saskatchewan families over the thirty years from 1976 to 2006.Over this period, the richest 10 per cent of Saskatchewan families took home the lion’s share of the province’s economic growth, increasing its share of earnings from twenty-three to twenty-eight per cent. The bottom half of Saskatchewan families found themselves shut out from economic gains and their share of earnings dropped from twenty-six to twenty-three percent.

There is a growing divide between the top half of Saskatchewan families and those in the bottom half:in the 2003-2006 period, the share of earnings going to the top half was four times greater than earnings going to the bottom half.

Equally troubling, by 2005 the income gap associated with being Aboriginal was very large, with Aboriginal individuals averaging less than sixty per cent of their non-Aboriginal counterparts.Since Statistics Canada’s income surveys exclude the Aboriginal population living on reserves, the findings of this report likely understate overall income inequality in Saskatchewan.

The full findings of this report will be released at a public meeting at the SGEU Hall on Thursday September 3rd at 7 pm. Professor Gingrich and Peter Gilmer of the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry will discuss why income inequality matters and its disturbing effects on social cohesion, public health and democracy.

The full report will be available online at 12:00 am tonight. To download the report or a summary of findings visit:

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/reports/2009/09/article2298/?pa=BB736455

Professor Paul Gingrich will be available for interviews and can be reached at (306) 352 0253 or by e-mail: paul.gingrich@uregina.ca

For further information contact: Simon Enoch, Director – Saskatchewan Office, CCPA (306) 924 3372 simon@policyalternatives.ca

Download the Report/Study:
> Boom and Bust (A summary) – PDF File, 87 Kb
> Boom and Bust: The Growing Income Gap in Saskatchewan (full report) – PDF File, 4852 Kb

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