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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, January 2018

Released: 2018-03-28

Average weekly earnings — Canada

$995.90

January 2018

3.2% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.L.

$1,033.20

January 2018

0.3% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — P.E.I.

$838.61

January 2018

2.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.S.

$862.40

January 2018

0.7% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.B.

$907.60

January 2018

2.8% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Que.

$923.81

January 2018

3.9% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Ont.

$1,015.26

January 2018

3.1% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Man.

$926.39

January 2018

3.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Sask.

$1,028.71

January 2018

1.7% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Alta.

$1,147.23

January 2018

3.1% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — B.C.

$961.09

January 2018

3.3% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Y.T.

$1,090.79

January 2018

0.7% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.W.T.

$1,406.01

January 2018

-0.3% decrease

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Nvt.

$1,364.51

January 2018

3.4% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $996 in January, little changed from the previous month. Earnings were up 3.2% compared with January 2017, largely the result of gains in the second half of 2017.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours

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 32.7 hours per week in January, down from 32.8 in December 2017 and unchanged from 12 months earlier.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Compared with January 2017, average weekly earnings increased in 7 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by accommodation and food services. At the same time, earnings declined in manufacturing and were little changed in construction and in administrative and support services.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, January 2018
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, January 2018

In accommodation and food services, average weekly earnings rose 8.2% to $399. Earnings in this sector have been on an upward trend since March 2017. This coincides with notable provincial minimum wage increases in Alberta (October 2017) and Ontario (January 2018). Full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places accounted for the bulk of the increase. Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec contributed the most to the year-over-year earnings growth in the sector.

Among employees in public administration, average weekly earnings increased 4.5% to $1,303, driven by gains in local, municipal and regional, as well as provincial and territorial public administration. Ontario contributed the most to the rise.

In wholesale trade, earnings grew 3.4% to an average of $1,220 per week. Gains were mostly attributable to machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers, which has been the largest contributor to year-over-year increases in this sector since March 2017. The earnings gains in the sector were largely the result of increases in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

For retail trade employees, average weekly earnings rose 3.1% to $576, with most of the growth occurring in the second half of 2017. Increases were spread across a number of subsectors, with building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, as well as clothing and clothing accessories stores contributing the most to the rise. Ontario and British Columbia accounted for the majority of the year-over-year earnings growth in the sector.

In professional, scientific and technical services, earnings were up 2.9% to an average of $1,357 per week. The rise in earnings was driven by computer systems design and related services, which has been the largest contributor to earnings growth in the sector since September 2017. Among the provinces, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia had the largest increases.

Average weekly earnings in educational services grew 1.9% to $1,054, driven by gains in elementary and secondary schools, as well as community colleges and CEGEPs. Ontario and Quebec contributed the most to the rise.

In health care and social assistance, earnings rose 1.7% to $900. Hospitals had the largest earnings growth. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia contributed the most to the earnings increase in the sector.

Among the smaller industrial sectors, average weekly earnings in finance and insurance rose 9.1% to $1,402. This sector has been on an upward trend since August 2017 and was one of the largest contributors to the national earnings increase in January 2018.

In contrast, average weekly earnings in manufacturing fell 1.7% to $1,091. Among the provinces, Alberta and New Brunswick had the largest decreases in this sector.

Average weekly earnings by province

In the 12 months to January, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in eight provinces, led by Quebec. At the same time, earnings were little changed in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings by province, January 2018
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings by province, January 2018

In Quebec, average weekly earnings rose 3.9% to $924, with the majority of the gains occurring in the second half of 2017. The growth was spread across a number of sectors, and the largest contributors were health care and social assistance; professional, scientific and technical services; and public administration.

Earnings in British Columbia grew 3.3% to an average of $961 per week. Earnings increased in a number of sectors, and the largest contributors were health care and social assistance; construction; and accommodation and food services. At the same time, a notable decline in administrative and support services moderated the overall earnings increase in the province.

Average weekly earnings in Ontario increased 3.1% to $1,015, with finance and insurance; public administration; and professional, scientific and technical services contributing the most to the rise.

For payroll employees in Alberta, average weekly earnings were up 3.1% to $1,147. The growth was spread across a number of sectors, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, as well as health care and social assistance. The increase was partly offset by a notable decline in administrative and support services. The earnings increase in Alberta's mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector was due in part to earnings in the sector being at a relatively low point in January 2017.

Earnings in Manitoba rose 3.0% to an average of $926 per week. The growth was spread across most sectors. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since July 2017.

In New Brunswick, average weekly earnings were up 2.8% to $908, with finance and insurance; administrative and support services; and construction contributing the most to the increase.

Average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island grew 2.0% to $839, with notable gains in educational services as well as in administrative and support services. The overall growth in the province was tempered by a notable decrease in health care and social assistance.

Among payroll employees in Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings were up 1.7% to $1,029. The largest contributors were public administration, as well as mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction. At the same time, notable declines in health care and social assistance, as well as in transportation and warehousing moderated the overall increase in the province.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll employees was little changed in January from the previous month. However, the number of payroll jobs increased markedly in administrative and support services and in manufacturing. At the same time, payroll employment decreased notably in retail trade and in construction.

Compared with January 2017, the number of payroll employees rose by 357,300 (+2.2%), with most of the increase occurring during the second and third quarters of 2017. Increases were observed across the majority of the sectors, led by health care and social assistance (+45,000 or +2.4%) and educational services (+43,600 or +3.5%).

On a year-over-year basis, the number of payroll jobs also increased notably in manufacturing (+33,800 or +2.3%); professional, scientific and technical services (+31,500 or +3.6%); and public administration (+30,900 or +2.9%). At the same time, a notable decrease was observed in information and cultural industries (-6,000 or -1.7%).



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 Survey of Employment, Payrolls 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

With this release of January 2018 data, the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) began using the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2.0 instead of NAICS 2012. Data were revised historically back to 2001. At the same time, seasonally adjusted data were revised based on the latest seasonal factors. Historical revisions were also made to a small number of industries, primarily in 2016 and 2017, and were concentrated in Federal public administration industry (NAICS 911), Transportation and warehousing (NAICS 48-49) and Information and cultural industries (NAICS 51). These changes have little impact on the national, provincial and territorial industrial aggregate estimates.

The 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 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 the 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 (Catalogue number72-203-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

Real-time CANSIM tables 281-8023, 281-8026, 281-8047 and 281-8063 will be updated on April 9. For more information, consult the document Real-time CANSIM tables.

Next release

Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for February will be released on April 26.

Products

A summary table is also available.

Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for December 2017 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 (Catalogue number72-203-G).

Contact information

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 Dominique Dionne-Simard (613-618-9411; dominique.dionne-simard@canada.ca) or Client Services (toll-free: 1-866-873-8788; statcan.labour-travail.statcan@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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