Payroll earnings decrease slightly: StatsCan

Average weekly earnings declined 0.3 per cent from August to September
||Last Updated: 11/24/2011

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees declined 0.3 per cent to $872.75 in September, partly offsetting a 0.8 per cent increase in August.

Earnings have been relatively flat since the beginning of 2011, according to Statistics Canada.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings rose 1.1 per cent, the smallest increase since November 2009.

The year-over-year increase reflects factors such as wage growth and changes in the composition of employment by industry, by occupation and by level of job experience.

Average hours worked per week can also influence growth in year-over-year earnings. However, the average work week was unchanged in the 12 months to September at 33 hours. Average weekly hours increased 0.3 per cent from August to September.

Provincial earnings

In the 12 months to September, average weekly earnings rose in every province except Ontario and Nova Scotia. The largest increases occurred in Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan reached $906.22 in September, up 6.9 per cent from the same month a year earlier. In P.E.I., earnings increased 5.1 per cent over the same period to $745.81 but remained the lowest among the provinces.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador increased 4.6 per cent to $884.66. Earnings in this province have grown at a higher rate than the national average since December 2010.

In Ontario, year-over-year earnings declined 1.3 per cent from $901.16 to $889.13. Declines were spread across several service industries, most notably in finance and insurance, educational services, wholesale trade, health care and social assistance and public administration.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings exceeded the national average of 1.1 per cent in three of Canada's largest industrial sectors: construction, administrative and support services and professional, scientific and technical services. At the same time, earnings declined in educational services as well as in accommodation and food services.

In construction, average weekly earnings rose 5.2 per cent to $1,117.40. The largest increases were in heavy and civil engineering construction, construction of buildings and specialty trade contractors.

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