Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $915 in March, up 0.7 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 March, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33 hours per week, up from the month and year before, both at 32.9 hours per week.
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in six of the largest industrial sectors.
Average weekly earnings in educational services increased 4.3 per cent to $995 in the 12 months to March, with notable growth in universities as well as elementary and secondary schools.
In professional, scientific and technical services, average weekly earnings grew four per cent to $1,284, led by growth in architectural, engineering and related services; legal services; and advertising, public relations, and related services.
Weekly earnings in health care and social assistance increased 3.9 per cent to $837, with the largest growth in social assistance and hospitals.
In public administration, weekly earnings rose 3.7 per cent to $1,177 in the 12 months to March, mainly a result of growth in local, municipal and regional public administration.
Weekly earnings in retail trade edged down 0.3 per cent to $524 in the 12 months to March, with the most notable declines in clothing and clothing accessories stores as well as furniture and home furnishings stores. These losses were partially offset by earnings growth in electronics and appliance stores and general merchandise stores.
Year-over-year earnings growth of non-farm payroll employees was above the national average in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and the same as the average in Ontario. The growth was below the national average in the other provinces.
Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan increased 5.5 per cent to $967 in the 12 months to March, led by growth in health care and social assistance; retail trade; and educational services.
In Alberta, average weekly earnings rose to $1,111, up 4.6 per cent from 12 months earlier, with growth across all sectors.
Ontario's average weekly earnings increased 3.1 per cent to $926 in the 12 months to March. This was the first time that Ontario's year-over-year earnings growth was the same as the national average, after being below the average since October 2010.
Earnings in New Brunswick edged down 0.2 per cent to $803. Average weekly earnings in the province have been on the decline since peaking at $817 in August 2012.
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
Total non-farm payroll employment decreased by 22,100 in March after edging up by 2,900 in February.
In March, the number of payroll employees declined most notably in “other services” such as repair and maintenance and personal and laundry services; professional, scientific and technical services; public administration; and health care and social assistance. These losses were partly offset by increases in educational services and manufacturing.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of non-farm payroll employees rose by 180,900, or 1.2 per cent.
Among all sectors, construction posted the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment, at 5.8 per cent, followed by real estate and rental and leasing, which increased by 4.4 per cent. Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction experienced a 3.7 per cent growth. The most notable declines were in information and cultural industries, which fell by 3.5 per cent and in forestry, logging and support, which experience a 3.3 per cent decrease.
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