Women working and making more

Canadian women in two-income families are bringing home more money than they did a decade ago, but on average they still contribute less than half the total income, a new survey says.

Statistics Canada reports wives now work longer hours at paid jobs and they earn more than in the past.

The agency says the proportion of wives earning at least 45% of total family income increased to 42% from 37% between 1997 and 2008, with most of the change coming from an increase in the number of women who were the primary family breadwinners.

In the same period, the average weekly hours worked by wives increased steadily, while husbands put in fewer hours on the job.

Women’s average weekly earnings increased at a faster pace than men’s over the decade, hitting $740 in 2008 compared with $640 in 1997.