Average weekly earnings up 0.2 per cent in June: StatsCan

Year-over-year earnings rise 2.6 per cent

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $919 in June, up 0.2 per cent from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 2.6 per cent.

The 2.6 per cent increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to June 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 June, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.9 hours per week, down from 33.1 hours per week recorded both the month before as well as in June 2012.

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in five of the largest industrial sectors.

From a recent low in June 2012, average weekly earnings grew by 8.1 per cent in administrative and support services to $764. Several industries posted earnings increases over the year, including business support services, office administrative services, employment services, as well as investigation and security services.

Weekly earnings in wholesale trade rose 4.9 per cent to $1,107 in the 12 months to June, with most of the gains since October 2012. Growth over the 12-month period was driven by merchant wholesalers in machinery, equipment and supplies; motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories and wholesalers of food.

In professional, scientific and technical services, weekly earnings increased 3.6 per cent to $1,273. Growth was highest in scientific research and development services as well as computer systems design and related services.

Average weekly earnings in manufacturing increased 3.5 per cent to $1,044 year over year, led by growth in the manufacturing of transportation equipment, chemical products, and computer and electronic products.

In public administration, weekly earnings rose 3.2 per cent to $1,174, mainly the result of increases in local, municipal and regional and federal government public administration.

From a high in June 2012, weekly earnings in accommodation and food services decreased by 2.2 per cent to $362 in the 12 months to June. Declines were concentrated in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places.

Provincial numbers

Year-over-year earnings growth of non-farm payroll employees continued to increase in Saskatchewan and Alberta. These two provinces have had the highest year-over-year growth among all provinces for five consecutive months.

Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan rose 4.2 per cent to $953, with gains spread across the goods and services industries.

In Alberta, average weekly earnings increased 3.9 per cent to $1,110 in the 12 months to June, with growth in most sectors.

The lowest year-over-year growth was in Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, where earnings increased by less than one per cent in each province. In June, average weekly earnings in Manitoba amounted to $836. In New Brunswick, earnings increased to $822, while in Prince Edward Island, earnings increased to $764.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment edged down by 3,600 in June, following little change in May. In the 12 months to June, the number of non-farm payroll employees rose by 66,600 or 0.4 per cent. Employment has been little changed since August 2012.

In June, the number of payroll employees declined in the following sectors:

• construction
• public administration
• transportation and warehousing
• "other services."

At the same time, there were increases in administrative and support services, as well as educational services.

Among all sectors, real estate and rental and leasing posted the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment at five per cent with most of the gains occurring since December 2012. Growth rates from June 2012 to June 2013 were also notable in accommodation and food services, which increased by 3.2 per cent. This is a sector that has been on an upward trend since early 2011. Educational services — up 2.5 per cent from 12 months earlier — has been on an upward trend for the past two years.

Since June 2012, there have been notable job declines in three sectors. Payroll employment fell by 2.6 per cent in information and cultural industries, with the losses spread across a number of industries within the sector. In public administration, employment decreased by 1.8 per cent, mostly a result of losses in federal public administration in 2013. In the 12 months to June, manufacturing payroll employment was down by one per cent, with the declines occurring since March 2013.

Quebec construction strike

There were strikes in the last two weeks of June 2013 in the construction sector in Quebec. Declines in total employment, payroll and hours were observed in the sector. However, the survey is not designed to measure the full impact of strikes, especially those that last less than a month. Therefore, the impact is not fully reflected in the estimates.

Alberta flooding

Extensive flooding began in Southern Alberta in the second half of June, followed by evacuations and cleanup. The flood could have had some impact on the survey of employment, payrolls and hours estimates for Alberta.

For more direct estimates on the impact of the flood on hours worked, specific questions were added to the July Labour Force Survey. The results were published in the August 27 issue of The Daily.

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