Average weekly earnings up 0.3 per cent in December: StatsCan • Alberta, Saskatchewan seeing highest salary increases: Conference Board • EI recipients dip slightly in December: StatsCan • B.C. unveils new pension option • Ontario public sector earning 14 per cent more than private sector • Number of Canadians expecting to retire at 66 down 50 per cent
Average weekly earnings up 0.3 per cent in December: StatsCan
OTTAWA — Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $908 in December, up 0.3 per cent from the previous month, said Statistics Canada. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 2.8 per cent.
The 2.8 per cent increase in earnings during the 12 months to December 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 December, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.8 hours per week, unchanged from 12 months earlier but down from 33.1 in November.
Alberta, Saskatchewan seeing highest salary increases: Conference Board
OTTAWA — Salary growth projections have been revised upwards in Saskatchewan (four per cent) and Alberta (3.9 per cent), according to the Conference Board of Canada’s Mid-Year Pulse Check. The projections for Quebec (2.7 per cent), Ontario (2.5 per cent) and British Columbia (2.5 per cent) have been revised downward and remain below the national average of three per cent.
The oil and gas sector continues to project the highest average salary increases, at 4.5 per cent, up from 4.2 per cent last fall, found the survey of 240 organizations across Canada.
EI recipients dip slightly in December: StatsCan
OTTAWA — The number of people receiving regular employment insurance (EI) benefits decreased by 8,300 or 1.6 per cent to 517,000 in December, according to Statistics Canada.
This is the third time in four months claims have fallen. The recent decreases brought the number of beneficiaries down to a level similar to that of the spring of 2012.
Nationally, the number of initial and renewal claims totaled 226,700 in December, virtually unchanged from the previous month.
Provincially, the number of claims declined 6.1 per cent in Manitoba, 3.2 per cent in Alberta, 2.1 per cent in New Brunswick and 1.9 per cent in Quebec, while the number increased by 4.3 per cent in Nova Scotia, 2.7 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador and 1.7 per cent in Ontario. There was little change in the other provinces.
B.C. unveils new pension option
VANCOUVER — British Columbia has introduced new legislation designed to provide an additional financial safety net for the approximately twothirds of B.C. workers who do not have access to group pension plans.
The Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act is part of a national effort to make well-regulated, low-cost pension plans available to millions of Canadians who do not have occupational pension plans, according to the province.
Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs) will be managed by licensed financial institutions, reducing administrative burdens for employers and providing tax advantages to employers that are not available under alternative models such as group RRSPs.
Workers whose employers do not set up a PRPP will be able to deal directly with a PRPP administrator to open an account — similar to opening an RRSP.
Ontario public sector earning 14 per cent more than private sector
TORONTO — Public sector workers (federal, provincial and local) in Ontario earned wages 13.9 per cent higher, on average, than their private sector counterparts in 2011, according to a report from think-tank the Fraser Institute.
In looking at wage and non-wage benefits for government employees and private sector workers in Ontario, Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation in Ontario calculated the wage premium for public sector workers using Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey from April 2011.
When unionization is included in the analysis, the public sector “wage premium” (the degree to which public sector wages exceed private sector wages) declined to 12.4 per cent from 13.9 per cent.
Number of Canadians expecting to retire at 66 down 50 per cent
TORONTO — Economic uncertainty over the past five years has had an impact on Canadians’ retirement plans, as the number of people who expect to be retired at age 66 has dropped to 27 per cent, down from 51 per cent in 2008.
The number of Canadians who expect to be retired at 66 is almost equal to those who expect to be working full time at that age (26 per cent), found Sun Life Financial’s Canadian Unretirement Index.
Another third (32 per cent) expect to be working part time at 66, adding up to almost 60 per cent of Canadians who expect to work past the traditional retirement age, while about 15 per cent are not certain.