Census Canada 1901 show earnings but doesn't provide period (by month, by year)?

+5 votes
Hi WikiTreers,

Can anyone answer this. My great grandfather earned 500, Child 1 earned 400, and child 2 earned 300 but no indication of what currency and time period is stated.
in Genealogy Help by Michael Swift G2G3 (3.6k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

I checked with Stats Canada:

Wage earner

‚ÄčColumn 22. Working at trade in factory or home
"F" specified work in a factory, "h" for work in a home, and "fh" for work in both factory and home.

Column 23. Months employed at trade in factory
Number of months employed in a trade at a factory.

Column 24. Months employed at trade in home
Number of months in their trade in a home.

Column 25. Months employed in other occupation than trade in factory or home
For those who were employed in an occupation other than their trade, or if an individual who usually worked at a trade was engaged in any employment.

Column 26. Earnings from occupation or trade $

Column 27. Extra earnings (from other than chief occupation or trade) $

I'm guessing it's $ per month.

I now think the calculation would be $ per year = (Col 26 + Col 27) / Col 25. I am fusing over this because my father was accountant who would expect precisionsmiley

I meant $ per month

I'm not sure, Michael. When I look at my ancestor's earnings in the 1901 Census, that seems to be an annual figure.

If it is monthly, then he would have been a much richer man than he was!  I know what his son earned in the early 1930's, doing precisely the same work, and it had to be more than his father earned in 1901, not less. There was a boom, and a dramatic rise in wages after 1918.

I've been looking for some reference material for you, and found this StatsCan study, which corresponds with my grandfather's notes: https://www65.statcan.gc.ca/acyb02/1917/acyb02_191702028-eng.htm.  

Laurie, how did you manage to access this archived material?
I follow the great god Google, may he never lead me astray!

hmm, must be because I don't worship anywhere then, the great god Google is probably miffed with me.  cheeky laugh

laugh Truth is, I often use StatsCan data in my work, so Google's algorithms are trained to send me to their site: what you search for becomes easier to find.  

Thanks to all who replied. Laurie your table shows that Male Farmer in Nova Scotia in 1909 would earn $310.85 per year (or $25.90 per month). The 1909 Census of my relative in Nova Scotia was $42 per month as a coal miner, his sons earned $33 per month as a coal loader and $25 per month as a coal driver. Better wages, if you ignore the early deaths from inhaling coal dust and the occasional mine explosion. smileysad

2 Answers

+2 votes

This booklet of instructions to the enumerator may answer some of your questions https://archive.org/details/1901981901I1901eng/page/n21/mode/1up

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (351k points)
Thanks George. I looked at the enumerators book, it was not very helpful in answering my question. But I'm pretty sure that $ per month = (Col 26 + Col 27)/Col25.
+2 votes

I just went crusing through Stats Can data, found an item that listed average earnings in manufacturing, the earliest year they had was 1905, and the average earning per year then was  375. $ Cdn.  Yup, inflation has really done strange things over the years.  Back in 1973 I earned 3900 $ /year in clerical job (my first job).

by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (346k points)
That's what I see, too. If you can also see some provincial breakdowns, the average wage in the Maritime provinces was considerably lower than the national average. So if Michael's ancestor in Nova Scotia earned $500 in 1901, and children (presumably young adults) earned $400 and $300, I'm thinking this family was pretty flush that year. They were probably literate and in business or a profession, and I bet those two oldest children were married within a few years of the census, since they were each earning enough to support a family of their own.

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