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Ag #5 for Canadian salary lies

Ag #5 for Canadian salary lies

Everybody lies, except for those who say they never lie. Still, some people and sectors lie more often than others. See the true results of a Canadian survey about lying about one’s salary.

By Andrew Joseph,; Chart via BonusFinder Canada

Would you believe us if we said that the ag industry has the fifth highest incidence of liars, according to an industry survey?

It’s no lie, although we should state that the numbers involving the ag industry are also lumped in with forestry, fishing, and hunting.

We’re not talking about the camper who claimed to have seen Bigfoot rummaging through the garbage cans behind the local A&W Restaurant in Nelson, BC. Neither are we talking about regular folk talking about how they hunted and shot a 24-point buck when it was their pick-up truck that did the killing. And neither are we talking about the fisherman who claimed to have caught a fish “this big.”

No, this one is about industry personnel who sometimes offer up a little white lie to the whopper, to the full-on baldfaced lie with regards to their salary.

According to BonusFinder Canada—a Canadian online gambling business that has no affiliation with—the average person lies four times a day.

Sure, it could be to promote oneself, perhaps to protect someone’s feelings, or maybe to just not have to answer a telephone spammer’s questions. The gambling site asked some 3,000 Canadians for their take on lying.

By the way, for all sectors, Canadians were more likely to lie or avoid discussing salary.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • According to the survey, the hospitality industry lies the most about their salary, at 66.3 percent.
  • 6.0 percent of Canadians have lied about their salary.
  • 37.7 percent have said their salary is lower than it is, and only 28.0 percent have inflated their salary.
  • Folks from Ottawa lie the most about their salary, at 63.4 percent - more on that below, because it's not necessarily all a bad thing.
  • People said that negotiating leverage is the most common reason for inflating salaries, according to 37.8 percent of the respondents.
  • 28.4 percent said that they deflated their salary to others to avoid jealousy or resentment in the workplace.

Interesting. The best way to avoid lying about salary is to not have such discussions. If a person chooses to reveal their salary, that’s one thing, but asking others seems... wrong. Unless that’s something Gen Z and the Millennials seem more comfortable with.

Other reasons why people said they inflated their salary included: social status and image; family and social expectations; business or networking reasons; comparisons with peers (and the need to fit in); fear of judgement or discrimination; and insecurities (feelings of inadequacy).

Yes, Ottawa had the most people lie about their salary (63.4 percent), but to be fair, of the Top 10 cities, Ottawa’s population was more likely to state that their salary was lower than it was (40.6 percent), but the second-most likely to inflate their salary (33 percent).

The next biggest liar about salary—again, based on a total of 3,000 people surveyed—was Saskatoon (60.4 percent), with 37.6 percent lying lower and 29.7 percent lying higher.

The top 10 cities for salary liars are:

  1. Ottawa: 63.4 percent total, 40.6 lower, 33.0 higher;
  2. Saskatoon: 60.4 percent total, 37.6 lower, 29.7 higher;
  3. Quebec: 59.8 percent total, 41.8 lower, 32.8 high;
  4. Calgary: 58.6 percent total, 40.1 lower, 33.4 higher—the city most likely to inflate their salary;
  5. John’s: 57.8 percent total, 39.2 lower, 25.5 higher—least likely to inflate their salary;
  6. Edmonton: 57.7 percent total, 36.5 lower, 30.2 higher;
  7. Victoria: 57.4 percent total, 38.6 lower, 28.7 higher;
  8. London: 56.0 percent total, 36.0 lower, 27.0 higher;
  9. Halifax: 56.0 percent total, 35.8 lower, 28.4 higher;
  10. Toronto: 53.6 percent total, 36.3 lower, 26.3 higher.

Note that Halifax and London tied for eighth. Also, for those cities that are not listed here, either no representatives were surveyed, or that city did not lie as much as the other top 10. 

With regards to the widely diverse agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector, 50 percent of respondents offered up a lower salary than what was true, while 20.6 inflated their salary.

These numbers imply that when it comes to lying about salary, of all the sectors surveyed, ours is least likely to brag about what they earn.

It also implies that 29.4 percent of the respondents from the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector told the truth about their current salary. And that’s no lie.

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There is a widening disconnect between those who grow food and those who consume food in Canada. To better communicate to Canadians, we must understand what their perceptions are of the food industry. Each year the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity performs a country wide survey to get a gauge on what Canadian consumers think about our food system and farming in general. Ashley Bruner from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity has been part of this survey for year and will give us insight into what Canadians think.


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