Retail workers, too often shuffled to the bottom of the deck when considering powerful occupations in this country, have been revealed to, perhaps, have the most power of all.
According to the most recent data released from the Canadian Household Survey, “retail salesperson” is the most common job in Canada. That applies to men and women equally. Almost five percent of women and 3.3 percent of men checked the “retail salesperson” box in the 2011 draft of this voluntary nationwide survey, which replaces the mandatory long-form Canadian census.
In 2011, some 1.9 million workers toiled in retail jobs in Canada. That accounts for 11.5 per cent of the country’s workforce.
The fields of health care and social assistance were a close second, representing 11.4 per cent of Canada’s labourers.
The force of their numbers notwithstanding, retail staffers cannot lay claim to the same superlatives when it comes to their salaries. Payroll data collected by Statistics Canada show that earnings in the retail trade are pitifully low, and have actually shrunk since a year ago. On average, this sector of the working Canadian population earns $524 a week. That compares to someone who works in real estate or in health care, and takes in more than $800 a week.
For men, transport truck drivers rank as the number-two occupation, followed by retail trade managers, carpenters and janitors. For women, the second-most common job is administrative assistant, followed by nurse and cashier.