Payroll earnings increased 0.4 per cent in August: StatsCan

Year-over-year, weekly earnings rose 1.3 per cent
|payroll-reporter.com|Last Updated: 10/31/2013

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $918 in August, up 0.4 per cent from the previous month, Statistics Canada reports. On a year-over-year basis, weekly earnings increased 1.3 per cent.

The 1.3 per cent increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to August reflected a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience, as well as average hours worked per week.

Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.9 hours per week in August, down from 33 hours in July and also down from the August 2012 average of 33.1 hours.

By sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in four of the largest industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services as well as construction.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in administrative and support services increased 5.2 per cent to $760 in August. Several industries in this sector posted earnings increases over the 12 months, including employment services; services to building and dwellings; business support services; and office administrative services.

Average weekly earnings grew by 4.7 per cent in construction to $1,203. This was mainly a result of growth in heavy and civil engineering construction as well as construction of buildings.

In the 12 months to August, weekly earnings in health care and social assistance rose by 1.9 per cent to $827, with all of the gains taking place from August to November 2012. Earnings in hospitals increased throughout the 12 months to August, and ambulatory health care services saw its earnings rise over the first five months of the period.

After reaching a high of $374 in August 2012, average weekly earnings in accommodation and food services declined by 2.6 per cent to $364 in the 12 months to August. During this period, employment was up in this sector, while average hours worked decreased. The earnings decline was in traveller accommodation as well as full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places.

Provincial breakdown

Year-over-year earnings growth of non-farm payroll employees was above the national average in five provinces. At the same time, earnings in Manitoba and New Brunswick edged down.

Average weekly earnings in Ontario rose two per cent to $931, with gains spread across many sectors. This was only the second time in the past three years that year-over-year earnings growth in the province was higher than the national average.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Nova Scotia grew by 1.8 per cent to $809. There was notable earnings growth in administrative and support services; retail trade; finance and insurance; educational services; and manufacturing.

In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings increased 1.7 per cent to $955 in the 12 months to August, with growth in most sectors.

Average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island rose 1.5 per cent to $761 in the 12 months to August. Earnings in this province have been on an upward trend since January 2013.

Despite edging down compared with August 2012, average weekly earnings in New Brunswick and Manitoba have been relatively flat over the year.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 51,300 in August, following an increase of 71,200 in July. In August, the number of payroll employees rose in all the largest industrial sectors.

In the 12 months to August, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 119,300 or 0.8 per cent. All of the gains occurred in the last two months, as employment was relatively flat from August 2012 to June 2013.

Among all sectors, real estate and rental and leasing posted the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment at 4.4 per cent, with most of the gains occurring since December 2012. Employment growth rates from August 2012 to August 2013 were also notable in construction, which saw an increase of4.1 per cent, and in accommodation and food services, which saw an increase of 3.8 per cent. This is a sector that has been on an upward trend since early 2011.

Since August 2012, employment has declined markedly in information and culture (-4.5 per cent), with the bulk of the losses occurring from August to October 2012. There was also a notable one per cent decline in manufacturing, with all of the losses taking place from March to July.

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