Payroll employment, earnings and hours, August 2016
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Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $960 in August, up 0.8% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings increased 1.6%, partly as a result of relatively low earnings in August 2015.
Average earnings have been relatively stable since the beginning of 2016.
The change in weekly earnings reflects a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation, and level of job experience, as well as average hours worked per week.
Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.7 hours per week in August, unchanged from the previous month and down from 32.8 hours in August 2015.
Average weekly earnings by sector
In the 12 months to August, average weekly earnings increased in 4 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, specifically manufacturing, retail trade, public administration, and professional, scientific and technical services. Over the same period, average earnings declined in wholesale trade, and were little changed in other sectors.
On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in manufacturing increased 4.3% to $1,097, partly as a result of relatively low earnings in August 2015. Earnings growth in food manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturing, the two largest subsectors, contributed the most to the increase. At the same time, earnings decreased notably in primary metal manufacturing.
Average earnings in retail trade rose 2.6% to $563, with the largest growth in electronics and appliance stores, and general merchandise stores.
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in public administration increased 2.4% to $1,260. Earnings, as well as employment, rose notably in local, municipal, and regional public administration.
In the 12 months to August, average earnings in professional, scientific and technical services were up 1.2% to $1,321. Most of this growth was driven by gains in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services, and legal services. In contrast, earnings declined notably in scientific research and development services.
On the other hand, average weekly earnings in wholesale trade fell 3.2% to $1,130. The largest decreases were for wholesalers of motor vehicles and parts and accessories; food, beverage and tobacco; and building material and supplies.
Average weekly earnings by province
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in every province, except Alberta, where earnings were little changed. Prince Edward Island recorded the highest earnings growth, followed by New Brunswick and Quebec.
Average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island grew 4.2% to $823, partly because of relatively low earnings in August 2015. Earnings increased the most in manufacturing, and finance and insurance.
Compared with August 2015, average earnings in New Brunswick rose 2.7% to $877. Earnings increased in the majority of sectors, with health care and social assistance contributing the most to the growth. Average weekly earnings in the province have been relatively stable over the past five months.
Average earnings in Quebec were up 2.5% to $879 on a year-over-year basis. Gains were spread across many sectors, led by manufacturing and educational services.
In Nova Scotia, average weekly earnings grew 2.1% to $850. Earnings increased notably in educational services, and finance and insurance.
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Ontario rose 2.1% to $979. Earnings increased the most in information and cultural industries, and were up notably in finance and insurance, and manufacturing.
In British Columbia, average weekly earnings increased 1.9% to $924, with gains in finance and insurance, and manufacturing contributing the most to the growth. On the other hand, earnings declined in administrative and support services.
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
The number of non-farm payroll jobs fell by 50,400 (-0.3%) in August, following a decrease of 19,300 in July. The largest decline was in construction and was mainly the result of a calendar effect associated with the construction holiday schedule in Quebec. There were also notable employment decreases in public administration, and information and cultural industries. At the same time, the number of payroll employees increased in health care and social assistance.
Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of non-farm payroll employees rose by 159,900 or 1.0%. Payroll jobs increased the most in health care and social assistance (+67,200 or +3.7%); accommodation and food services (+34,000 or +2.7%); educational services (+26,500 or +2.2%); and public administration (+21,500 or +2.1%).
Over the same period, there were fewer payroll jobs in manufacturing (-21,900 or -1.5%); mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-19,100 or -9.3%); construction (-17,200 or -1.8%); and "other services" (-12,200 or -2.2%).
Note to readers
The Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) is produced by a combination of a census of approximately one million payroll deductions provided by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the Business Payrolls Survey, which collects data from a sample of 15,000 establishments. The key objective of the SEPH is to provide a monthly portrait of the level of earnings and the number of jobs and hours worked by detailed industry at the national, provincial and territorial levels.
Estimates of average weekly earnings and hours worked are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling variability. This analysis focuses on differences between estimates that are statistically significant at the 68% confidence level. Payroll employment estimates are based on a census of administrative data and are not subject to sampling variability.
Statistics Canada also produces employment estimates from its Labour Force Survey (LFS). The LFS is a monthly household survey, the main objective of which is to divide the working-age population into three mutually exclusive groups: the employed (including the self-employed), the unemployed and those not in the labour force. This survey is the official source for the unemployment rate and collects data on the socio-demographic characteristics of all those in the labour market.
As a result of conceptual and methodological differences, estimates of changes from SEPH and LFS do differ from time to time. However, the trends in the data are quite similar. To better understand the conceptual differences between employment measures from the LFS and SEPH, refer to section 8 of the Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (). 72-203-G
Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitate comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.
Non-farm payroll employment data are for all hourly and salaried employees, as well as for the "other employees" category, which includes piece-rate and commission-only employees.
Average weekly hours data are for hourly and salaried employees only and exclude businesses that could not be classified to a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.
All earnings data include overtime pay and exclude businesses that could not be classified to a NAICS code. Earnings data are based on gross taxable payroll before source deductions. Average weekly earnings are derived by dividing total weekly earnings by the number of employees.
With each release, data for the current reference month are subject to revision. Data for the previous month have been revised. Users are encouraged to request and use the most up-to-date data for each month.
Real-time CANSIM tables
Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for September will be released on November 24.
A summary table is available from the Browse by key resource module of our website. Under Summary tables, choose Subject then Labour.
Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for July are now available in CANSIM.
More information about the concepts and use of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours is available online in the Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (72-203-G), from the Browse by key resource module of our website, under Publications.
Information about Job Vacancy Statistics concepts are available online in the Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (72-203-G). The separate Guide to Job Vacancy Statistics ( 72-210-G) has been discontinued.
For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).
To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Gordon Song (613-793-2392; firstname.lastname@example.org), Labour Statistics Division.
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