indicatorThe Owl

Market income going in wrong direction in Alberta

Adjusted for inflation, market income in Alberta has been on a downward trend since 2014

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 25 March 2022 1 min read

Already $13,700 (15.9%) lower than in 2014 going into the pandemic, annual median market income in Alberta slipped by $1,500 (2.1%) in 2020. (Income data have been adjusted for inflation and are expressed in 2020 constant dollars.)

Median government transfers, however, nearly tripled, going from $5,500 in 2019 to  $15,500 in 2020 for an annual increase of $9,600 (174.5%).

As a result, median after-tax income in the province managed to increase by 4.4% in 2020 after falling by 2.6% in 2019.

When the statistics are broken out by those in an economic family* and those who are not, median market income was down by 6.9% for families ($106,000 in 2019 compared to $98,700 in 2020) and by 24.6% for unattached individuals ($37,000 compared to $27,900).

Government transfers, meanwhile, increased by 147.7% for economic families ($7,600 in 2019 compared to $18,900 in 2020) and by an incredible 840.0% for unattached individuals ($1,000 compared to $9,400).

After taxes are taken into account, median family income in 2020 was up by 1.6% compared to 2019 while the income of unattached individuals contracted by 1.8%.

Clearly, the emergency income programs introduced during the pandemic had a dramatic impact on the amount of money Canadians took home in 2020.

Monday’s edition of The Owl will examine how incomes in Alberta stack up to those in other provinces.

*An economic family refers to a group of two or more persons who live in the same dwelling and are related to each other by blood, marriage, common-law, adoption or a foster relationship. A person not in an economic family is a person living either alone or with others to whom he or she is unrelated, such as roommates or a lodger.

Answer to the previous trivia question: McDonald’s introduced its Big Mac hamburger nationwide in the U.S. in 1968.

Today’s trivia question: How much is the daily global median income?

Median government transfers nearly tripled, going from $5,500 in 2019 to  $15,500 in 2020

Median government transfers nearly tripled during the first year of the pandemic, going from $5,500 in 2019 to $15,500 in 2020

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