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Feds’ labour data shows wage gap for Indigenous workers – Canada’s National Observer

February 7th 2024

A new tool created by Ottawa to reveal potential barriers in the workplace shows a significant gap in wages for Indigenous workers.

On Friday, Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan launched a tool called Equi’Vision that reveals Indigenous workers’ mean hourly wage is about nine per cent less than non-Indigenous workers’ hourly earnings across Canada. Experts say the gap is evidence of systemic inequities.

“I think anybody with a sane mind would agree that there should be no wage gap,” said Rodney Nelson, an Indigenous governance and economic development researcher at Carleton University. “I wish I had the magic bullet and answer to why, but I think it’s a combination of many different things.”

Each year, federally-regulated private-sector businesses with 100 or more employees must report equity data — like information about wage gaps and worker diversity — to the federal government. The data tracks the employment equity of four groups — women, Indigenous people, people with disabilities and workers of visible minorities. Ottawa’s new webpage, Equi’Vision, compiles this data into graphs.

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