Higher-income neighbourhoods in Canada’s eight largest cities flourished economically during the past quarter-century, while lower-income communities stagnated. This paper identifies some of the underlying processes that led to this outcome. Increasing family income inequality drove much of the rise in neighbourhood inequality. Increased spatial economic segregation, the increasing tendency of ‘like to live nearby like’, also played a role. It is shown that these changes originated in the labour market. Changes in investment, pension income and government transfers played a very minor role. Yet it was not unemployment that differentiated the richer from poorer neighbourhoods. Rather, it was the type of job found, particularly the annual earnings generated. The end result has been little improvement in economic resources in poor neighbourhoods during a period of substantial economic growth, and a rise in neighbourhood income inequality.
Census data provides a snapshot of Ontarians’ labour market experience by gender and by racialized group. The 2006 census data clearly illustrate the discrimination experienced by racialized Ontarians in the labour market. Racialized workers have lower incomes than non-racialized workers; they have higher unemployment rates, and they are more likely to live in poverty. This paper compares incomes, labour market experience, and incidence of low income for racialized and non-racialized Ontarians. It also looks at ways in which gender and race interact in labour market outcomes.
Using data from the 1976-to-1997 Survey of Consumer Finances and the 1993-to-2004 Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, we examine developments in family income inequality, income polarization, relative low income, and income redistribution through the tax-transfer system. We conclude that family after-tax-income inequality was stable across the 1980s, but rose during the 1989-to-2004 period. Growth in family after-tax-income inequality can be due to an increase in family market-income inequality (pre-tax, pre-transfer), or to a reduction in income redistribution through the taxtransfer system. We conclude that the increase in inequality was associated with a rise in family market-income inequality. Redistribution was at least as high in 2004 as it was at earlier cyclical peaks, but it failed to keep up with rapid growth in family market-income inequality in the 1990s. We present income inequality, polarization, and low-income statistics for several well-known measures, and use data preparations identical to those used in the Luxembourg Income Study in order to facilitate international comparisons.