4.4-per-cent rise in weekly earnings: Statistics Canada

Saskatchewan, P.E.I., Nova Scotia and Alberta lead the way

Between November 2009 and November 2010, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in Canada rose 4.4 per cent to $865.17, according to Statistics Canada.

Some of the growth was attributable to a 1.3-per-cent increase in the average number of hours worked per week. This follows a decline of 1.6 per cent in average hours from November 2008 to November 2009, said the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours.

The remainder of the year-over-year wage increase in November 2010 reflects a number of other factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, changes in occupations within industries and job experience.

Average weekly earnings increased in every province, found Statistics Canada. Growth was above the national average in Saskatchewan (5.7 per cent), Prince Edward Island (5.7 per cent), Alberta (5.6 per cent) and Nova Scotia (5.6 per cent). New Brunswick had the slowest growth (2.3 per cent). Quebec saw gains of 4.3 per cent and Ontario 4.2 per cent while British Columbia was at 3.9 per cent and Manitoba 2.5 per cent.

10 industrial sectors

Among the 10 industrial sectors with more than 700,000 employees, growth in average weekly earnings between November 2009 and November 2010 was faster than the national average of 4.4 per cent in: educational services, manufacturing, accommodation and food services, professional, scientific and technical services and wholesale trade. The slowest growth in earnings occurred in health care and social assistance as well as administrative and support services, found the government.

Average weekly earnings in educational services increased by six per cent in the 12 months to November. The earnings growth over this period was strongest in primary and secondary schools and universities, said the report.

Weekly earnings increased 2.3 per cent in the 12 months to November in the administrative and support services sector. This was the slowest increase among the 10 largest industrial sectors, said Statistics Canada. However, there were notable differences among certain industries within this sector.

The growth in average weekly earnings during the 12 months was strong in some smaller sectors. For example, earnings in forestry, logging and support increased by 11.9 per cent, the fastest among all sectors. The second-highest earnings growth was in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (10.7 per cent). Both sectors have shown strong earnings growth in recent months.

Arts, entertainment and recreation sector earnings have also been on an upward trend, said the payroll report. From November 2009 to November 2010, earnings in this sector rose by 10.2 per cent. Earnings growth was strong in all the arts, entertainment and recreation industries.

Monthly changes

Non-farm payroll employment edged up 0.1 per cent (7,700) from October to November, the sixth consecutive month of job gains. Between November 2009 and November 2010, the number of payroll employees increased by 1.8 per cent (263,500), found Statistics Canada.

Public administration payroll jobs rose by 0.4 per cent (4,500) in November, mainly the result of increases in provincial and territorial public administration. In the 12 months to November, the number of payroll jobs in public administration increased by 0.2 per cent (+1,900).

In manufacturing, payroll employment increased by 0.3 per cent (4,800) from October to November, erasing a decline of a similar magnitude the month before, said the report. Most of November's manufacturing gains were in food; electrical equipment, appliance and components; and primary metals. In the 12 months to November, total payroll jobs in manufacturing increased by 1.5 per cent (21,700).

In accommodation and food services, the number of payroll jobs decreased by 0.3 per cent (-2,800) from October to November, with most of the decline in limited service eating places. The number of employees in accommodation and food services was down 0.5 per cent (5,100) compared with November 2009, found the government.

The number of payroll jobs in administrative and support services fell by 0.3 per cent (2,400) in November. Gains in business support services were more than offset by small losses spread across three industries: travel arrangement and reservation services; investigation and security services; and services to buildings and dwellings, according to Statistics Canada. During the previous 12 months, the number of payroll employees in administrative and support services increased by 2.2 per cent (15,700).

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