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Hours worked and labour productivity in the provinces and territories (preliminary), 2016

Released: 2017-05-19

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Canada

$50.00 per hour

2016

0.4% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — N.L.

$66.20 per hour

2016

4.7% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — P.E.I.

$30.70 per hour

2016

4.8% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — N.S.

$35.60 per hour

2016

0.8% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — N.B.

$36.40 per hour

2016

0.8% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Que.

$43.90 per hour

2016

0.2% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Ont.

$47.20 per hour

2016

1.3% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Man.

$48.40 per hour

2016

3.0% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Sask.

$56.90 per hour

2016

0.0%

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Alta.

$69.70 per hour

2016

-1.1% decrease

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — B.C.

$48.30 per hour

2016

1.0% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Y.T.

$44.10 per hour

2016

2.6% increase

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — N.W.T.

$62.10 per hour

2016

-2.5% decrease

(annual change)

Annual labour productivity (2007 dollars) — Nvt.

$67.60 per hour

2016

-4.1% decrease

(annual change)

Business productivity rose in eight provinces and in Yukon in 2016. While productivity declined in Alberta (-1.1%) and was unchanged in Saskatchewan, this was an improvement for these provinces compared with 2015. Labour productivity continued to fall in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Nationally, business productivity grew 0.4%, following a similar decline in 2015.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Labour productivity in the business sector by province and territory, 2016
Labour productivity in the business sector by province and territory, 2016

Prince Edward Island led the country with the strongest business productivity growth (+4.8%), mainly due to increases in output in most major sectors, especially construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, finance and insurance, and real estate. Newfoundland and Labrador followed with a similar increase (+4.7%), mainly due to a strong increase in the production of conventional oil and gas extraction. Conversely, Alberta saw the largest decline among the provinces for a second consecutive year (-1.1%). This decline occurred against a backdrop of lower prices for crude oil, as well as temporary difficulties from the forest fires affecting Northern Alberta in May and June 2016.

Hours worked decline, particularly in oil producing provinces

Real gross domestic product (GDP) of businesses increased in every province and territory in 2016, with the exception of Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. At the same time, hours worked in the business sector rose in 7 of the 13 provinces and territories. The strongest increases were observed in Yukon (+11.5%), Nunavut (+10.9%) and British Columbia (+3.2%), while the sharpest decline occurred in Alberta (-4.4%). Excluding workers who still had not returned to work in August 2016, the forest fires in the Fort McMurray area resulted in the loss of approximately 9.7 million work hours in the Alberta business sector. Nationally, hours worked rose 0.6%, following an increase of 1.1% in 2015.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Hours worked in the business sector by province and territory, 2016
Hours worked in the business sector by province and territory, 2016

Widespread increases in average compensation per hour worked

The average compensation per hour worked in the business sector rose in every province except Alberta. For the second year in a row, Prince Edward Island saw the largest increase in the country (+6.1%). Hourly compensation continued to decline in 2016 in each of the three territories. The rise in hourly compensation in British Columbia (+1.1%) and Saskatchewan (+0.4%) was lower than the national average, while Nova Scotia was similar to the national growth rate. In Alberta, hourly compensation fell 1.1%, after edging down 0.1% in 2015. Across Canada, hourly compensation increased 1.4%, compared with a 1.9% increase in 2015.


  Note to readers

Revisions

This release incorporates an update to 2016 data on provincial and territorial labour productivity and related variables in the business sector by industry.

These data are consistent with those incorporated in the provincial and territorial gross domestic product by industry for 2016, released on May 1, 2017. No revisions have been made to data for previous years. Revised estimates of hours worked and labour productivity in the provinces and territories for 2014 to 2016 will be published in February 2018.

Productivity measure

Labour productivity is a measure of real gross domestic product per hour worked. Productivity gains occur when the production of goods and services grows faster than the volume of work dedicated to their production.

Economic performance, as measured by labour productivity, must be interpreted carefully, as these data reflect changes in other inputs, in particular capital, in addition to the efficiency growth of production processes. As well, growth in labour productivity is often influenced by the degree of diversity in the industrial structure. As a result, labour productivity tends to be more volatile in the smaller provinces.

For the purpose of this analysis, as in the national labour productivity releases, productivity measures cover the business sector. It is important to note that real output (used to measure productivity) is based on the value added measured at basic prices, not market prices, which is consistent with the detailed framework by industry.

As well, the real estate, rental and leasing industry, part of the service-producing business sector, excludes the imputed rent for owner-occupied dwellings as there are no data on the number of hours that homeowners spend on dwelling maintenance services.

Products

The System of Macroeconomic Accounts module, accessible from the Browse by key resource module of our website, features an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is available from the Browse by key resource module of our website, under Publications.

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available from the Browse by key resource module of our website, under Publications. This publication will be updated to maintain its relevance.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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