Payroll earnings virtually unchanged from October to November: StatsCan

Average weekly hours down 0.3 per cent
||Last Updated: 01/26/2012

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $883.96 in November, virtually unchanged from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada.

On a year-over-year basis, earnings rose 2.2 per cent. The increase reflects a number of factors, including wage growth and changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience.

Average hours worked per week can also contribute to changes in earnings. A year-over-year decline in average hours worked per week tempered the increase in weekly earnings. In November, average hours worked per week amounted to 32.9, down from 33.1 hours 12 months earlier. Compared with October, average weekly hours were down by 0.3 per cent.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings exceeded the national average of 2.2 per cent in four of Canada's largest industrial sectors: administrative and support services; retail trade; professional, scientific and technical services; and manufacturing.

In administration and support services, average weekly earnings rose 4.9 per cent to $734.24. Year-over-year growth was widespread across most industries in this sector.

In retail trade, average weekly earnings were up 3.8 per cent to $521.41.

In professional, scientific and technical services, average weekly earnings increased 2.9 per cent to $1,229.64. Increases were particularly pronounced in management, scientific and technical consulting; accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping payroll services; and architectural, engineering and related services.

Average weekly earnings in manufacturing increased 2.5 per cent to $999.75, with growth spread across many industries.

Growth in earnings also surpassed the national average in some smaller sectors. From November 2010 to November 2011, earnings increased in the two highest-paying industries: utilities, where they increased 7.8 per cent to $1,705.73; and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, where they rose 3.7 per cent to $1,788.92.

Average weekly earnings rose in every province

Average weekly earnings rose in every province in the 12 months to November, led by growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Alberta and New Brunswick. The lowest rate of growth was in Ontario.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings increased 5.7 per cent to $898.95. Earnings in this province have been higher than the national average since September 2011.

In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings were up 5.1 per cent to $904.42. This province's earnings have exceeded the national average since August 2011.

In Alberta, average weekly earnings increased five per cent to $1,052.53. Alberta continued to post the highest level of earnings among the provinces.

The increase in average weekly earnings was also above the national average in New Brunswick, up 4.6 per cent to $803.99, and in British Columbia, up 3.2 per cent to $849.99.

The lowest year-over-year growth occurred in Ontario, as average weekly earnings were up 0.5 per cent to $898.63.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

From October to November, non-farm payroll employment increased 12,300. The increases were widespread, with notable gains in retail trade; construction; manufacturing; health care and social assistance; wholesale trade; and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of employees rose by 247,700 workers or 1.7 per cent.

The highest rates of growth were in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (9.1 per cent); utilities (6.3 per cent); construction (3.6 per cent); and professional, scientific and technical services (three per cent)

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