The median take-home income in Edmonton was $82,000 for families and individuals in 2016, while the median income in Calgary was $67,700, according to data published Tuesday by Statistics Canada.
Across Alberta, the median after-tax income was $70,200 in 2016, while the Canadian median was $57,000.
John Rose, the City of Edmonton’s chief economist, doesn’t expect the trend to continue into 2017, as Calgary is making up for the jobs lost during the economic downturn.
“There’s going to be quite the turn around in incomes in the Calgary region over the course of 2017,” Rose said. “So they are going to be looking even better than Edmonton in terms of income growth.”
Historically, incomes have been higher in Calgary. But Edmonton’s economy performed better in the last years, Rose said, since it is not as dependent on the energy sector.
Income was also higher in Edmonton in 2015, at $76,200 compared to $70,500 in Calgary.
“Edmonton managed to get through the downturn relatively unscathed, and that meant that incomes here held much better than elsewhere in the province.”
Rose said Edmonton should continue to experience growth, which will be reflected in the 2017 numbers.
“We’ve continued to see a trend in the Edmonton region toward full-time employment, which obviously means higher incomes,” Rose said.
“We’ve seen average weekly earnings in the region up by 4.8 per cent over the past 12 months.”
Edmonton has a young population with a high participation rate in the labour force, which drives up income levels.
“There are a lot of two-income families, there are a lot of couples where both people are working.”