Average weekly earnings up 0.9 per cent in February: StatsCan

Year-over-year earnings increase 3.1 per cent
|payroll-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/08/2013

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $909 in February, up 0.9 per cent from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 3.1 per cent.

The 3.1 per cent increase in earnings during the 12 months to February reflects a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience, as well as average hours worked per week.

In February, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.9 hours per week, down from 33 hours in January, but up from 32.8 hours a year earlier.

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in four of the largest industrial sectors.

Average weekly earnings in construction increased 4.6 per cent to $1,166 in the 12 months to February. The most notable growth was in utility system construction, followed by non-residential building construction.

In public administration, weekly earnings rose 4.3 per cent to $1,173, mainly a result of growth in local, municipal and regional public administration.

Weekly earnings in administrative and support services increased 4.1 per cent to $763. The largest growth was in employment services, followed by investigation and security services, as well as services to buildings and dwellings.

Average weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services grew four per cent in the 12 months to February, to $1,265. Gains were led by legal services; computer systems design and related services; and architectural, engineering and related services.

In accommodation and food services, year-over-year earnings edged down 0.4 per cent to $360.

Provincial numbers

Year-over-year average weekly earnings growth of non-farm payroll employees was above the national average in four provinces.

Average weekly earnings in Alberta increased 4.5 per cent to $1,100 in the 12 months to February, led by growth in transportation and warehousing; public administration; and construction.

In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings rose to $941, a 3.8 per cent increase compared with 12 months earlier. Average weekly earnings grew 3.7 per cent to $946 in Newfoundland and Labrador and 3.3 per cent to $796 in Nova Scotia.

Earnings growth in New Brunswick was the lowest among the provinces, increasing 1.3 per cent to $811. Earnings have been hovering around this level since September 2012.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment increased for the second consecutive month, up 14,500 in February and 7,700 in January.

In February, the number of payroll employees rose most notably in construction, retail trade, and professional, scientific and technical services. Gains were partly offset by declines in health care and social assistance; and administrative and support services.

On a year-over-year basis, payroll employment rose by 244,500, or 1.6 per cent.

Among all sectors, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction posted the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment with a 7.1 per cent increase, followed by a 6.4 per cent increase in construction. Real estate and rental and leasing experienced growth at 3.9 per cent. The most notable declines were in information and cultural industries, which fell by 1.9 per cent and public administration, which decreased by 0.9 per cent.

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