The Occupational Classes: Not All Jobs are Created Equal – Benefits Edition

In this Insight, the Martin Prosperity Institute continues its investigation into the differences between the creative class and the service class. This next Insight focuses on the distribution of and outcomes for these two occupational classes in terms of workers who receive benefits and workers who do not.

Exhibit 1: Any work-provided benefits


The ‘share’ row tells us what proportion of each occupational class either receives some form of benefits or does not. We see that 66.3% of employed creatives receive some benefits or a benefit, and that 33.7% of creatives do not receive some form of benefit through their employment. In the service class, 52.4% of employed workers receive benefits, and 47.6% of service workers do not receive benefits.

Further, those in the creative class with some form of benefit make an average income of $53,484, whereas those creatives without benefits make an average income of $22,967. Service workers with benefits (52.4%) make a median average income of $29,662, while those without some form of benefits receive an average wage income of $11,315.

Creatives with benefits earn 111% of the average creative wage and 124% of the average creative income. Service workers with benefits enjoy a proportionally higher wage premium—they tend to earn 121% of the average service wage and 142% of the average service income. However, it is likely that workers who receive benefits in either occupational class are employed in higher-wage jobs, thus influencing the wage outcomes.

The one-third of creative workers who don’t receive some form of benefit earn less on average that the over 50% of the service class who receive the same benefit. However, the creative workers have a slightly higher average wage and work fewer hours per week. For both service and creative, over half of those not receiving benefits work full-time.

In general, we see that part-time creative workers earn less (total), have almost the same hourly wage, work fewer hours, and are less likely to receive benefits than part-time service workers, who are more likely to find themselves working part-time involuntarily, but are more likely to get some benefits.

In the service class, the small proportion of those receiving benefits seems to be due to there being less full-time work. This suggests that there might be an opportunity to legislate for or incorporate benefits for full time work—as some jobs may be inherently part-time in nature.
Next week, our Insight series will describe the variation in work schedule by occupational class, followed by comparative pieces on self-employment and number of jobs.

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The Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is the world’s leading think-tank on the role of sub-national factors—location, place and city-regions—in global economic prosperity. We take an integrated view of prosperity, looking beyond economic measures to include the importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential.