Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Factory workers doing their jobs while a forklift is driving by. Image: iStock

New England Salaries Much Higher Than Atlantic Canada’s

By Scott Pettigrew Nov 15, 2022 | 10:42 AM

Even though we are a part of two different countries, Atlantic Canada and New England have a lot of similarities, especially since the two regions share a border. But one thing not similar between the two regions is salaries.

A new study by the Fraser Institute shows that, in 2019, there was a $15,000 CAD gap in average earnings: $44,236 in New England compared to $29,230 in Atlantic Canada. The highest average salary from New England came from Massachusetts ($48,551), while on Prince Edward Island the lowest earner makes a mere $26,567.

The Fraser institute also looked at five years of unemployment rates between the four provinces and six states. Newfoundland, PEI, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, came first, second, and fourth, respectively.

Alex Whalen, a senior economist at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Atlantic Canada and New England Report Card: Comparing Economies, hopes that these numbers will cause Atlantic Canadians to take notice.

“One of the key messages from this study is we think Atlantic Canadians should take interest in this topic and push their policymakers to advance policy that will increase earnings and wages,” Whalen says.

Whalen said the study didn’t dive into what New England is doing specifically to have such higher salaries. But he believes there are several public policy factors that play a role, including a “leaner, more efficient government.”

“Certainly, the tax structure is burdensome, and that has something to do with it,” he said. “The investment climate is another aspect. And the size of government is something that we focused on.”

“Atlantic Canada is a high-tax jurisdiction by most (personal tax) measures…it also has higher tax rates or corporate income as well. So the tax challenges in this region are multidimensional.”

The economic climate has changed dramatically since 2019. In a world where employees are demanding higher wages, it’s likely these average salaries will be much different when comparable data is available.

But Whalen argues the trends indicate there will still be a gap between New England and Atlantic Canada.

“What we see is that, over time, trends tend to prevail. Really, it’s the power of effective public policy is what can change those trends.”

Derek Montague is a reporter for Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


Leave a Reply