Canadian taxpayers more than made up for household income lost during the pandemic. A new study from Statistic Canada (Stat Can) shows the change of employment earnings in Q2 2020. On average, every demographic lost income. However, due to generous pandemic supports, some households received more than 3x the income lost.
About Today’s Data
Today we’re looking at household income quintiles, employment earnings, and pandemic support. Income quintiles are evenly distributed ranges of household earnings, divided into fifths. The lowest quintile is the bottom fifth of income, and the highest quintile is the top fifth. The income lost and the pandemic support are the averages, as calculated by Stat Can. If the difference between employment income lost and pandemic support is a net-positive, the household made more than lost. The opposite is also true, but all quintiles received more than they lost on average.
In General, Households Received More Taxpayer Funds Than Income Lost
The lowest quintile saw the largest replacement of income of any demographic. The average household lost $564 of income in Q2 2020, and received an average of $2,381 in pandemic benefits. This works out to a net-gain of $1,817, or 322% of the income lost over the period. Since the loss was small, it’s easy to see how pandemic support created the largest percentage increase.
Canadian Household Income Change During PandemicThe dollar change in the average income from employment earnings, and pandemic supports for each household income quintile in Q2 2020. Source: Stat Can, Better Dwelling.
The second income quintile saw the largest dollar gain from pandemic support. The average household lost $1,004 of income in Q2 2020, and received an average of $3,699 in pandemic support. This works out to a net-gain of $2,695, or 268% more than the income lost. Not as big of a gain percentage wise, but still a lot more money than was lost.
The third quintile, right in the middle, also more than doubled their losses. Income lost came in at $1,597 in Q2 2020, and they received $4,023 in pandemic support. This works out to a net-gain of $2,426, or an increase of 152% of the income lost. Much smaller, but taxpayers still covered more than double the losses.
Canadian Household Income Net-ChangeThe net-change in the dollar amount of income lost, after the adding average pandemic supports in Q2 2020. Source: Stat Can, Better Dwelling.
The fourth quintile received the most pandemic support in gross dollars. Income loss averaged at $1,914 for Q2 2020, and was replaced with $4,046 in pandemic support. This works out to a net-gain of $2,132, or 111% more money than was lost. They faced bigger losses, but still doubled their income.
The fifth, and highest, quintile lost the most in income support. The income lost works out to an average of $2,604 in Q2 2020, and was replaced with $3,435 of pandemic support. This works out to a net-change of $831, or 31.91% more income than was lost. Pandemic income supports aren’t quite as lucrative if you’re on the top, but they still return some extra cash.
We already knew pandemic supports replaced more than the employment income lost. Seeing the distribution, helps us understand things like the elevated savings rates. If costs were covered by wages, tripling one’s income lost is likely to result in more saving. This does bring up a lot of questions on how incomes will adjust in the post-pandemic world.
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