The average weekly earnings for a Canadian worker rose $3 from January to February to $925, according to Statistics Canada. That’s up 2.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis.
The year-over-year increase in the wages of non-farm payroll employees reflected a number of factors, according to the government agency, including:
•changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience
•average hours worked per week (32.9 hours in February 2014 compared to 32.8 hours in February 2013.)
Average weekly earnings by sector
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings exceeded the national average in 4 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by construction. At the same time, earnings declined in educational services.
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, February 2013 to February 2014
Accommodation and food services
Health care and social assistance
Professional, scientific and technical services
Administrative and support services
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in construction grew by 5.5 per cent to $1,225 in February, with gains spread across most industries in this sector.
From a recent low of $355 in February 2013, weekly earnings in accommodation and food services were up by 4.1 per cent to $369 in the 12 months to February 2014.
Average earnings in health care and social assistance increased by four per cent to $858 per week, with gains spread across all industries in this sector.
In professional, scientific and technical services, average weekly earnings rose by 2.6 per cent to $1,306 in February, with most of the gains occurring since the summer of 2013. The largest year-over-year increases were in "other professional, scientific and technical services;" legal services; as well as architectural, engineering and related services.
Earnings in educational services declined by 1.7 per cent to $977 compared with 12 months earlier, notably in elementary and secondary schools as well as universities. Earnings in educational services have been trending downward since July 2013.
Average weekly earnings by province
Year-over-year earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in all provinces. The largest growth was in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, while there was little growth in Saskatchewan.
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, February 2013 to February 2014
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
In the 12 months to February, average weekly earnings in Manitoba increased by 4.4 per cent to $854, with growth spread across most sectors. The bulk of the gains have occurred since October 2013.
In Nova Scotia, weekly earnings rose by 4.2 per cent to $822 compared with 12 months earlier. The largest gains were in accommodation and food services; information and cultural industries; and administrative and support services. Earnings in this province have been on a slight upward trend over this entire 12-month period.
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
Total non-farm payroll employment fell by 11,900 in February, after edging down by 3,000 in January. There were fewer employees in educational services; retail trade; and professional, scientific and technical services. At the same time, there was more payroll employment in construction, as well as mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.
Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 131,600 or 0.9 per cent in February, with the bulk of the gains occurring in July and August.
Among all sectors, construction (+2.4 per cent) and real estate and rental and leasing (+2.4 per cent) posted the highest 12-month growth rate, followed by accommodation and food services (+2.3 per cent) and transportation and warehousing (+2.3 per cent). Over the same period, employment declined in utilities (-3.1 per cent), information and cultural industries (-1.1 per cent) as well as manufacturing (-1.0 per cent).
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