How big is the pay gap between workers with and without disabilities?

Statistics Canada finds wide gaps for men, women, full-time and part-time workers

How big is the pay gap between workers with and without disabilities?

Workers with disabilities are not only facing more challenges in the workplace, they’re also generally paid less, according to a report from Statistics Canada (StatCan).

Overall, workers with disabilities faced a 21.4% pay gap when compared with those without disabilities: persons with disabilities earn 79 cents to every dollar earned by persons without disabilities.

Citing data from the 2019 Canadian Income Survey, StatCan noted that persons with disabilities aged 16 years and older had an average annual income of about $43,400, said StatCan. Their earnings were about $11,500 less than persons without disabilities’ earnings of $55,200.

Two in five (40%) Canadians cite money as a leading source of stress this year, up from 38% in 2022.

Pay gap among specific groups

When it comes to gender, the pay gap between the two groups is higher for men, reported StatCan. In 2019, men with disabilities earned $48,700 while those without physical ailments earned $64,300. This equates to a 24.3% pay gap in annual average earnings.

Among women, the pay gap between those with and without disabilities drops to 13.7%: $38,900 compared with $45,100.

Among employed persons, persons with disabilities are less likely to work full-time (76.9%) than persons without disabilities (84.5%). However, among those with full-time employment, persons with disabilities earned, on average, $11,200 less than persons without disabilities annually, resulting in a pay gap of 16.6%. 

“In addition, persons with and without disabilities were equally likely to be permanently employed, but the disability pay gap persists,” said StatCan. “Among those with permanent positions, persons with disabilities earned 20.5% less than persons without disabilities. Similarly, among those with temporary positions, persons with disabilities earned 17.0% less than persons without disabilities.”

The pay gaps vary even among the group of persons with disabilities. Those with mental health-related disabilities (31.0%) face a bigger pay gap when compared with those with physical disabilities (20.7%) and sensory disabilities (12.3%).

One in six North American employees were more stressed about their personal finances in 2022 than they were in 2021, and this culture of anxiety is leading to a productivity slump, according to a previous report.

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