Average weekly earnings increase by 3.7 per cent: StatsCan

Manufacturing wages have nearly returned to pre-recession levels

May saw the largest year-over-year increase in average weekly earnings since February 2008, according to Statistics Canada.

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees hit $848.45 in May, an increase of 3.7-per-cent from May 2009.

May marked the sixth consecutive month for which the year-over-year increase was at or above 2.3 per cent. During the prior eight months, year-over-year increases were below 1.8 per cent.

The strongest year-over-year wage increases were in administration and support, waste management and remediation services (10.9 per cent), educational services (10.3 per cent), accommodation and food services (6.5 per cent), wholesale trade (5.4 per cent), manufacturing (5.3 per cent) and professional, scientific and technical services (4.3 per cent).

Between July 2008 and October 2009, earnings in manufacturing declined by 6.1 per cent. But the sector has almost completely recovered with earnings having increased by 5.4 per cent since October 2009.

Average weekly earnings increased in every province in May 2010 compared to May 2009. The largest increases occurred in Prince Edward Island (5.9 per cent), Saskatchewan (five per cent), Alberta (4.4 per cent) and Nova Scotia (4.1 per cent). New Brunswick had the smallest rate of growth at 2.3 per cent.

Overall, Alberta had the highest average weekly earnings, at $985.17 in May, followed by Ontario at $874.66. These were the only two provinces in which earnings were above the national average of $848.45.

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