A new report by the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University reveals a significant wage gap between tech workers in the United States and Canada. According to the study, U.S. tech workers earn 46 per cent more in salary, when adjusted for the exchange rate and cost of living.
The study, titled Mind the Gap: Compensation Disparity Between Canadian and American Technology Workers, used 2021 U.S. and Canadian statistical and survey data sets to analyze compensation disparities based on various factors including race, gender, educational attainment, and non-wage compensation such as stock options.
Key findings from the report include (all values in Canadian dollars):
- Median wage compensation gap by country: In the U.S., tech workers earn an average of $122,604. In Canada, tech workers earn $83,698.
- Median wages by gender: Women tech workers in Canada earn $73,932, whereas men earn $86,574. In the U.S., women tech workers earn $103,078, and men earn $129,657.
- Median wages by educational attainment for tech workers: In the U.S., a doctorate holder earns $160,776. In Canada, the same degree earns $106,026.
- Median wages by racial identity: The highest-paid tech workers in Canada identify as Chinese. In the U.S., South Asian tech workers earn the most, and American Indian and/or Alaskan Native workers earn the least.
Vivian Li, the report’s author and senior policy analyst at the Dais, emphasized the urgent need for Canada to address this gap.
She said, “The research raises an alarm on the glaring disparity in competitiveness of the tech industries in Canada and America. If we’re not competitive, we could further lose this valuable asset, dwarfing our capability to grow and strengthen our overall economy and prosperity.”
While the report suggests paying workers more might not be feasible for small and medium-sized firms, it recommends implementing growth-oriented policies combined with strong labour protections to enable tech companies to offer competitive pay.