Average weekly earnings up 0.1 per cent in January: StatsCan

Year-over-year earnings increase 2.7 per cent

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $908 in January, up 0.1 per cent from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 2.7 per cent.

The 2.7 per cent increase in earnings during the 12 months to January 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 January, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33 hours per week, unchanged from the previous month but up from 32.9 hours a year earlier.

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in four of the largest industrial sectors, led by construction and public administration.

Average weekly earnings in construction increased 6.1 per cent to $1,172 in the 12 months to January. The largest growth was in the construction of buildings as well as heavy and civil engineering construction.

Weekly earnings in public administration increased 5.5 per cent to $1,189. The most notable growth occurred in local, municipal and regional public administration.

In health care and social assistance, weekly earnings rose 3.5 per cent to $831, led by growth in hospitals and ambulatory health care services.

Average weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services increased 3.1 per cent in January to $1,256, with gains in computer systems design and related services as well as legal services.

Among the largest industrial sectors, wholesale and retail trade had the lowest year-over-year growth. Earnings in wholesale trade edged up 0.3 per cent to $1,061, while in retail trade, they were unchanged from 12 months earlier at $524 in January.

Provincial numbers

Year-over-year earnings growth of non-farm payroll employees was above the national average in five provinces, with the highest growth in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec, Statistics Canada said.

Newfoundland and Labrador had the largest year-over-year growth in January, with average weekly earnings increasing by 4.4 per cent to $947. The main contributors to this earnings growth were construction and health care and social assistance.

In Quebec, average weekly earnings rose 4.3 per cent to $835 in the 12 months to January.

Alberta continued to have the highest average weekly earnings at $1,090, up 3.6 per cent compared with 12 months earlier.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 16,300 in January, following a decline of 31,200 the previous month.

In January, the number of payroll employees rose most notably in health care and social assistance; retail trade; and construction. At the same time, there was a notable decrease in administrative and support services.

On a year-over-year basis, payroll employment rose by 238,500 or 1.6 per cent.

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