Hourly earnings rise, but family incomes don't keep up with debt

    OTTAWA, Feb. 11 /CNW Telbec/ - So reports the ninth annual Current State
of Family Finances - 2007 Report, published and released by the Vanier
Institute of the Family today. This well-respected and timely report examines
the latest trends in incomes, spending, savings, debt and net worth across
family and household types.

    Highlights include:

    - A record 32% of workers aged 55 continue to work.
    - Spurred by geographic labour shortages, hourly wage gains have now
      outpaced price increases for the second year in a row.
    - Household incomes are rising but debt has risen seven times faster
      since 1990 - to an average total debt of over $80,000 per household and
      is now equal to a record 131% of household incomes.
    - Real net worth increased by 18% since 2000 due mostly to the strength
      of the real estate market.
    - About 200,000 more Canadians are poor than in 1990, up to 3.4 million.

    Author Roger Sauvé also includes a special feature that examines what the
poorest fifth of households do without. These cash-strapped families skip on
food, are less likely to own a car and the majority have just given up the
dream of home ownership. They also have to scrimp on things like recreation,
kids camps, dental insurance, current technologies, travel, jewelry, live
sporting events and much more.
    "Even though the roughly 800,000 children under 18 living in poverty is
an improvement from previous years, this is still over one in ten children,"
states Clarence Lochhead, Executive Director of the Vanier Institute. "When it
comes to the lives of our children, we need to think well beyond the latest
indicators of economic performance. Our future prosperity depends on the
investments we make today to develop the potential of all of our children ...
and their parents."
    The full report is available online at

For further information:

For further information: Clarence Lochhead, (613) 228-8500 ext. 214,
clochhead@vifamily.ca; Roger Sauvé, President, People Patterns Consulting,
(613) 931-2476, peoplepatternsconsulting@sympatico.ca

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