Payroll earnings increase slightly: StatsCan

Average weekly earnings rose 0.8 per cent from July to August

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased 0.8 per cent from July to August, rising to $877.28, following two months of small declines.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings rose 1.9 per cent, the lowest growth rate since November 2009.

The 1.9 per cent year-over-year increase reflects a number of factors, including wage growth and changes in the composition of employment by industry, by occupation and by level of job experience.

A decrease in average hours worked per week was also a factor in the 1.9 per cent year-over-year growth in earnings in August. The average work week declined 0.3 per cent from 33 hours in August 2010 to 32.9 hours in August 2011. Average hours fell in both the goods and services sectors.

Average weekly hours increased 0.3 per cent from July, contributing to the 0.8 per cent increase in average weekly earnings in August.

Average weekly earnings rose in every province in the 12 months to August, led by increases in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Alberta.

Provincial changes

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings increased 4.7 per cent to $875.07 in Newfoundland and Labrador. Earnings in this province have grown at a higher rate than the national average since December 2010.

Average weekly earnings in New Brunswick amounted to $792.01, up 4.5 per cent from August 2010.

In Alberta, earnings increased 4.4 per cent over the same period to $1,045.24. Earnings in Alberta remain the highest of all provinces.

The lowest growth rate occurred in Ontario, where the average weekly earnings of $894.17 in August have changed little since February 2011.

Average weekly earnings by industry

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings exceeded the national average of 1.9 per cent in five of Canada's largest industrial sectors: educational services, wholesale trade, administrative and support services, construction and retail trade. At the same time, earnings declined in accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance and manufacturing.

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