StatsCan: Face of non-profit sector is well-educated, female, aging and unequally paid

Statistics Canada has just released 2019 data providing insight into Canada’s non-profit workforce, which now accounts for almost 13 per cent of all jobs in Canada.

No surprises to see that the majority of workers in these 2.5 million jobs are female (77 per cent), getting older (23 per cent of the jobs are held by people 55 years and up, compared to 19,5 per cent in 2010), and well-educated, with more than 75 per cent holding either a university or college degree.

Education correlates directly with income in the sector: Those with university degrees on average earn almost $8 an hour more than college graduates, and almost $13 an hour more than high-school graduates working in the sector.

The wage gap between men and women working in the non-profit sector has improved but remains unsettlingly high. Men earn on average more than $6 an hour than their female colleagues, and that difference jumps to $8 an hour for non-profits serving governments – like the community social services sector, for instance. Wages for Indigenous employees increased 14.9 per cent over the past decade, compared with an 18 per cent increase for non-Indigenous employees.

Overall, two-thirds of the non-profit jobs in Canada are at organizations serving governments. Others serve households (27 per cent) and businesses (eight per cent), with that split staying about the same since 2010. Some 23 per cent of people working in the sector are over age 55. Workers age 65 and up have increased 81 per cent in the past decade.

While non-profit jobs are up across all provinces, the biggest jumps in the nine-year period were recorded in BC and Alberta, both of which saw a 20 per cent increase in the number of jobs in the sector.

The share of Indigenous employees in non-profits inched up from 4.2 per cent in 2010 to 5.1 per cent in 2019. The majority of the higher share is “attributable to an increase in Indigenous workers for non-profits serving governments,” notes StatsCan, where the number of Indigenous workers has increased 35.9 per cent.

The share of immigrant employment in non-profits increased from 41.8 per cent in 2010 to 47.9 per cent in 2019. Wages have grown at a quicker pace for non-immigrant employees than immigrant employees over the same time period – 18.1 per cent, compared with 16.9 per cent for immigrant workers.

The share of jobs held by people identifying as visible minorities expanded to 28.6 per cent in 2019, up from 22.5 per cent a decade earlier. “Hiring of visible minorities in non-profits serving governments has accounted for a significant portion of this increase, as the number of visible minorities employed in this sub-sector rose 46.2 per cent since 2010, compared with a 1.6 per cent increase for non–visible minorities.”