Average weekly earnings up 2.5 per cent in May: StatsCan

Wages increased in every province, biggest growth in Sask., N.L.

In May, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $894.61, up 2.5 per cent on a year-over-year basis, according to Statistics Canada.

The 2.5 per cent increase in earnings in the last year reflects a number of factors, including wage growth and changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience, according to Statistics Canada.

Average hours worked per week can also contribute to increases in earnings. In May, however, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.9 hours per week, unchanged both from the month prior and from 12 months earlier. This is the second increase following five consecutive months of year-over-year declines.

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average of 2.5% in five of the largest industrial sectors: construction, educational services, retail trade, accommodation and food services, and manufacturing. In contrast, earnings declined in health care and social assistance, said Statistics Canada.

Average weekly earnings in educational services increased 4.3 per cent to $990.65 in the 12 months to May. The most notable growth was within elementary and secondary schools.

In construction, weekly earnings increased 5.3 per cent to $1,133.09, and growth was widespread across all industries in this sector.

In retail trade, one of the lowest-paid sectors on average, weekly earnings rose four per cent to $536.89. There were notable gains among retail stores for clothing and clothing accessories; general merchandise; and health and personal care stores.

Weekly earnings of payroll employees in health care and social assistance fell 2.3 per cent to $793.48, following the previous month’s 1.2 per cent decline. Earnings declined in general medical and surgical hospitals, home health care services, individual and family services, and nursing care facilities, said Statistics Canada.

Average weekly earnings increased in every province in the 12 months to May, with the highest growth in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings were $897.80 in May, up 5.4 per cent from 12 months earlier. Earnings in the province have been higher than the national average since August 2011.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings increased 5.4 per cent to $918.59, the second-highest level among the provinces after Alberta. Year-over-year growth in Newfoundland and Labrador has exceeded the national average since December 2010.

The lowest year-over-year growth was in Manitoba, where earnings increased by 1.1 per cent.

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