Our View: Middle class earnings on downward slide

A new internal government report says that the middle class hasn’t been doing that well in Canada over the past few decades.

Employment and Social Development Canada, which runs EI, says middle-income families have seen their average earnings rise just 1.7 per cent from 1993 to 2007.

The families are increasingly vulnerable to economic shocks and are mortgaging their future to stay afloat.

This decline in the economic power of the middle class may come as a shock to some, or be met with outright denial by others, but it’s been painfully obvious to members of the actual middle class over the last few decades.

Those under 40, or with adult children trying to enter the workforce, can simply compare the experiences of one generation to another.

Those raised in the 1950s and 1960s were lucky enough to experience generally low unemployment, a rising standard of living, and jobs that could be expected to last for decades, with a pension at the end.

For those entering the workforce these days, whether straight from college or from a layoff due to the recent recession, those days are long gone.

A student graduating from university or a trade school today, contemplating the same career track that his or her parents followed, will almost certainly need more education, and will face more job insecurity in exchange for less money in real terms.

There are exceptions to these rules.

Those at the absolute pinnacle of the economic pyramid, the CEOs and top executives, and particularly those in the banking field, seem to be doing fine in this new economic order.

We need to demand of our leaders a meaningful answer to the ever-declining prospects of the middle class, for those working now, and especially for those who are about to enter the work force.

– M.C.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Saturday was devoted to the arts in Langley City

The 25th annual Arts Alive festival took over a main thoroughfare.

Arena opens at Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre

Grand procession brings Aldergrove ice arena users to new facility

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

VIDEO: Tire recycling at Kal Tire

All tires will be recycled back into products to be used in British Columbia

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Most Read