Average weekly earnings up 0.4 per cent in August: StatsCan

Year-over-year earnings increase 3.6 per cent

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees rose to $ 907.19 in July, up 0.4 per cent from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 3.6 per cent.

The 3.6 per cent increase reflects a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, as well as average hours worked per week.

In July, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.1 hours per week, up from 33 the month before but up from 32.9 in August 2011.

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average of 3.6 per cent in three of the largest industrial sectors: professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; and construction.

In professional, scientific and technical services, weekly earnings increased 7.4 per cent to $1,273.60 in the 12 months to June, with gains in all industries within the sector.

Weekly earnings in accommodation and food services were up five per cent to $374.54. Increases were most notable in special food services, limited-service eating places and traveller accommodation. Payroll earnings in this sector were the lowest among all sectors, partly because it had the lowest weekly hours.

In construction, weekly earnings rose 4.4 per cent to $1,144.43, with notable growth in non-residential building construction; highway, street and bridge construction; and building finishing contracting.

Average weekly earnings in administrative and support services declined 3.2 per cent to $724.03, mostly in employment services.

Provincial numbers

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll increased in every province in the 12 months to July, with the highest growth in Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings increased 8.1 per cent to $942.31. This was the third consecutive year-over-year increase above six per cent. Weekly earnings in the province are among the highest in the country.

In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings increased 6.1 per cent in the 12 months to August, to $938.57. Earnings in the province have been higher than the national average since August 2011.

Average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island were $761.13 in August, up five per cent compared with 12 months earlier. Year-over-year increases in earnings for this province have been at or above the national average since the start of 2012.

Average weekly earnings remained the highest of all provinces in Alberta, at $1,084.26 in August. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 3.2 per cent in the province, just under the national average.

Weekly earnings in Ontario grew three per cent to $919.05, the fourth-highest earnings level in Canada. Year-over-year growth in Ontario has been below the national average since October 2010.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 45,500 between July and August, the sixth consecutive monthly increase.

In August, payroll employment increased in most sectors, including educational services; public administration; manufacturing; health care and social assistance; and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction.

On a year-over-year basis, payroll employment rose by 316,000 (2.1 per cent), with most of these gains occurring since February 2012 (285,100).

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