Average weekly earnings up 0.2 per cent in April: StatsCan

Year-over-year earnings rise 2.2 per cent

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees rose 0.2 per cent from March to $910 in April, according to Statistics Canada. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 2.2 per cent.

The increase in earnings during the 12 months to April reflected 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 April, employees worked an average of 32.9 hours per week, unchanged from both the month and year before.

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in six of the largest industrial sectors, led by professional, scientific and technical services as well as public administration.

In professional, scientific and technical services, average weekly earnings rose 3.7 per cent to $1,291. This was led by growth in legal services; computer systems design and related services; and architectural, engineering and related services.

Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings also rose by 3.7 per cent to $1,163 in public administration, mainly a result of growth in local, municipal and regional public administration.

Average weekly earnings in educational services increased three per cent to $1,010 in the 12 months to April, with notable growth in universities and community colleges and CEGEPs (vocational college).

Weekly earnings in health care and social assistance increased 2.9 per cent to $834, with the largest increases in social assistance and in hospitals.

In the 12 months to April, average earnings in construction rose 2.8 per cent to $1,172, driven mostly by gains within heavy and civil engineering construction.

Compared with April 2012, weekly earnings in administrative and support services went up by 2.6 per cent to $751, almost all a result of earnings gains within employment services.

Weekly earnings in retail trade edged down 0.6 per cent to $524 in the 12 months to April, with the losses spread across a number of retail industries. Earnings in retail trade have been hovering around this level for a year, as small gains in hourly earnings have been offset by declines in average weekly hours.

Saskatchewan, P.E.I. lead wage growth

Year-over-year earnings growth of non-farm payroll employees was above the national average in six provinces, with the highest growth in Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island. New Brunswick had the lowest earnings growth over this period.

Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan increased by 4.4 per cent to $944 in the 12 months to April. Growth was widespread across a number of industries.

In Prince Edward Island, year-over-year earnings growth was 4.1 per cent, bringing average earnings to $758 in April. There was notable growth in professional, scientific and technical services; educational services; retail trade; and public administration.

Compared with April 2012, average weekly earnings in Alberta rose 3.4 per cent to $1,098, with growth across most sectors.

Over the same period, earnings in New Brunswick edged up 0.4 per cent to $808. Year-over-year growth in this province has been at or below the national average since September 2012.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment edged up by 5,500 in April after increasing by 29,800 in March.

In April, the number of payroll employees increased in accommodation and food services; educational services; and health care and social assistance. At the same time, there were fewer jobs in construction; arts, entertainment and recreation; retail and wholesale trade; and public administration.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of non-farm payroll employees rose by 194,900 or 1.3 per cent.

Among all sectors, real estate and rental and leasing posted the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment at 5.6 per cent. This was followed by construction, which grew at 4.8 per cent, as well as accommodation and food services, which increased by 3.2 per cent. Over the same period, there were also declines, primarily in information and cultural industries, which experience a 3.2 per cent decline, and public administration, which decreased by 1.1 per cent.

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