minorities in the Canadian skilled trades

Visible minorities in the Canadian skilled trades face disparities

A new report, released on November of this year, goes deep into the disparities faced by visible minorities in the Canadian skilled trades.

The Government of Canada defines “visible minority” as, “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour”. This report break up visible minorities into South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, and Latin American. You can find the remaining categories grouped together as “other”.

The data here come from journeypersons who responded to the 2016 census and received their certification between 2008-2017. However, the labour market outcomes of these data represent only 1 year after certification.

Please, be aware that a certified journeyperson is recognized as a qualified and skilled person in a trade and is entitled to the wages and benefits associated with that trade.

Underrepresentation in the skilled trades

The report shows that visible minority journeypersons are underrepresented in all the skilled trades. In general, men were more underrepresented than women across the board. Latin Americans had the highest and Chinese had the lowest levels of representation across both men and women.

Differences in median incomes

Most visible minorities also had lower levels of median income than their non-visible minority counterparts. Non-visible minorities had median incomes of $65,600 for men and $28,300 for women, surpassed only by the Filipino population who received median incomes of $67,000 for men and $33,300 for women. All other visible minorities received between $4,100 – $13,700 less for males and $2,200 – $6,900 for females than non-visible minorities. Approximately half of the difference in pay for male visible minorities can be attributed to characteristics such as type of trade, geography, and mode of certification. On the other hand, these characteristics cannot explain the differences for women.

Men received higher incomes than women across all population groups. Interesting differences between men and women are the different choices of professions, and men being more likely to work in unionized environments, be Red Seal certified by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship, and less likely to report solely self-employed income. Filipino and non-visible minority men and women were less likely to report low-income levels than other visible minorities. Also, women were considerably more likely to report low-income levels than men.

Additional highlights

Visible minority men were more represented in automotive service technicians. Cooks were more likely to be a visible minority as well, with the exception of Black men. Across all-female population groups, hairstylist was the top employment type (with between 31.2% – 58.8% of all female journeypersons). Most visible minority journeypersons got certified in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. However, non-visible minorities were much more likely to be certified in Quebec. For more information, take a look at the full report.

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