Payroll employment, earnings and hours, October 2017
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Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $983 in October, virtually unchanged from the previous month. Following little year-over-year growth throughout most of 2016, earnings have increased at a faster pace in 2017. Compared with October 2016, earnings rose 3.1%.
In general, changes in weekly earnings reflect a number of factors, including wage growth; changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience; and average hours worked per week.
Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.8 hours per week in October, little changed from the previous month and up from 32.6 hours in October 2016.
Average weekly earnings by sector
In the 12 months to October, average weekly earnings increased in 8 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by wholesale trade. At the same time, earnings were little changed in retail trade and manufacturing.
In wholesale trade, average earnings grew 6.2% to $1,233 per week, boosted by gains among wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies. Earnings also increased notably for wholesalers of food, beverage and tobacco. Ontario contributed the most to the earnings growth in this sector.
For accommodation and food services employees, average weekly earnings increased 5.5% to $388, driven by gains in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places. Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia contributed the most to the rise.
Average weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services rose 4.2% to $1,359, with Ontario contributing the most to the increase. The earnings growth in the sector was driven by accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services, as well as employment gains in the high-paying computer systems design and related services industry.
In administrative and support services, earnings increased 3.8% to an average of $790 per week. Gains were spread across many industries, notably in employment services. Ontario and Quebec contributed the most to the earnings growth in this sector.
Average weekly earnings in public administration rose 3.6% to $1,266, driven by gains in local, municipal and regional public administration, and in provincial and territorial public administration. Increases were notable in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
Among construction payroll employees, average weekly earnings were up 3.0% to $1,240, with the growth spread across most provinces. Earnings gains were driven by utility system construction and residential building construction. Earnings in construction have trended upward since June.
In educational services, average earnings increased 2.9% to $1,051 per week, mainly the result of gains in elementary and secondary schools and in community colleges and CEGEPs. Provincially, marked increases were observed in Manitoba and British Columbia.
Earnings in health care and social assistance grew 1.1% to an average of $892 per week, driven by gains in social assistance and in ambulatory health care services. Quebec and British Columbia contributed the most to the increase.
Among the smaller industrial sectors, average weekly earnings in finance and insurance rose 6.0% to $1,327, one of the largest contributors to the overall 3.1% increase at the national level. The growth in this sector was spread across the majority of the provinces, and the largest gain was in credit intermediation and related activities.
Average weekly earnings by province
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in nine provinces, led by British Columbia and Alberta. Over the same period, earnings were little changed in Prince Edward Island.
Average weekly earnings in British Columbia were up 3.7% to $952. Growth was spread across most sectors, and the largest contributors were educational services, construction, and health care and social assistance.
In Alberta, average weekly earnings grew 3.5% to $1,143. Earnings in the province were at a relative low point in October 2016 but have been on an upward trend since the spring of 2017. The increase was widespread across the sectors, driven by construction as well as wholesale trade.
Earnings in Quebec increased 3.2% to an average of $909 per week. The largest contributors were health care and social assistance; professional, scientific and technical services; and manufacturing.
Average weekly earnings in Manitoba grew 3.1% to $909, driven by educational services, transportation and warehousing, and finance and insurance.
For payroll employees in Ontario, average weekly earnings rose 2.7% to $1,000. Earnings increased in many sectors, and the largest contributors were professional, scientific and technical services; public administration; finance and insurance; and wholesale trade.
Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan were up 1.9% to $1,009, with notable gains in construction, wholesale trade and professional, scientific and technical services.
In Nova Scotia, average weekly earnings grew 1.5% to $854. Construction, wholesale trade, and finance and insurance contributed the most to the rise.
Earnings in New Brunswick were up 1.4% to an average of $896 per week, boosted by gains in transportation and warehousing as well as health care and social assistance.
Average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador increased 1.1% to $1,039, driven by professional, scientific and technical services and by manufacturing. At the same time, earnings declined notably in construction.
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
The number of non-farm payroll jobs declined by 22,000 (-0.1%) from September. The number of payroll employees decreased in several sectors, most notably in retail trade, information and cultural industries, accommodation and food services and construction.
Compared with October 2016, the number of payroll employees rose by 340,200 (+2.1%), with most of the increase occurring during the second and third quarter of 2017. Increases were widespread, led by educational services (+52,500 or +4.2%) and construction (+37,800 or +3.9%). The number of payroll jobs also increased notably in manufacturing (+33,000 or +2.2%), health care and social assistance (+32,900 or +1.7%), professional, scientific and technical services (+31,200 or +3.6%) and accommodation and food services (+30,100 or +2.3%).
Spotlight on SEPH and LFS: Ontario
In the 12 months to October, the pace of employment growth has been similar in both of Statistics Canada's monthly surveys with data on employment: the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS).
During this period, both surveys showed similar trends in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. In Ontario, for example, the number of payroll employees in SEPH grew 2.4%, while average weekly earnings were up 2.7%. Over the same period, LFS data showed similar year-over-year growth in total employment in the province (+2.1%), with the unemployment rate falling to 5.9%.
In celebration of the country's 150th birthday, Statistics Canada is presenting snapshots from our rich statistical history.
The evolution of employment in the finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing sectors
Known since 2001 as the finance, insurance; and real estate and rental and leasing sectors, this broad industrial classification includes businesses offering services such as financial intermediation, underwriting annuities and insurance, and selling, renting, or managing real estate for others.
In 1911, 37,000 Canadians or 1.4% of total employment were working in the finance, insurance and real estate sectors. Following the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Royal Commission on Banking and Finance was appointed to investigate the structure and operation of the financial system. The Commission's report led to a series of reforms, including the creation of the Bank of Canada in 1934 and the passage of the Dominion Housing Act in 1935, which helped establish the modern finance and banking system. In 1961, there were 196,000 payroll employees in the finance, insurance and real estate sectors, accounting for 4.2% of all payroll employment in the country.
From 1961 to 1990, both the number of payroll employees and the share of overall employment in the sector grew steadily. In 1970, the proportion of payroll employees working in finance, insurance and real estate rose to 4.6%, with 306,000 individuals employed in the sectors. By 1990, the number of employees in the sectors had more than doubled to 737,000, and comprised 6.5% of all payroll employment in Canada. However, the employment growth of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s was halted by the recession of the early 1990s. Compared with 1990, there were nearly 70,000 fewer employees in the sectors by 1995.
Despite widespread declines across most sectors during the 2008-2009 economic downturn, employment in finance and insurance did not decrease. Operating in a tighter regulatory environment than their counterparts in the United States, none of Canada's major banks failed or required a bailout. From 2008 to 2010, the number of payroll employees in finance and insurance increased from 662,000 to 683,000.
By 2016, the finance, insurance; and real estate and rental and leasing sectors comprised over one million employees, accounting for 6.4% of all payroll employment in Canada. See chart Number and proportion of payroll employees in finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing sectors, Canada, 1961 to 2016.
Sources: "Why didn't Canada have a banking crisis in 2008 (or in 1930, or 1907, or…)?" National Bureau of Economic Research, 2011; Employment changes across industries during the downturn and recovery (), table D8-85 in Historical Statistics of Canada ( 75-006-X) and 11-516-XCANSIM tables 281-0005, 281-0015 and 281-0024.
Sustainable Development Goals
On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.
The release "Payroll employment, earnings and hours" is an example of how Statistics Canada supports the reporting on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This release will be used in helping to measure the following goals:
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. Federal, provincial and territorial public administration data are collected from various administrative records provided by these levels of government. 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 level.
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.
Unless otherwise specified, 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 have been revised for the previous month. 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 November 2017 will be released on January 25, 2018.
A summary table is also available.
Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for September are now available in CANSIM.
More information about the concepts and use of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours and Job Vacancy Statistics is available in the Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (72-203-G).
For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).
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