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Wages by occupation, 2017

Released: 2018-06-26

The average hourly wage paid to full-time payroll employees, excluding overtime pay, tips and incentive and performance pay was $27.60 in 2017, little changed from the previous year. However, there were notable changes across occupations.

In general, changes in average hourly wages reflect a number of factors, including wage growth and changes in the composition of employment by occupation and industry.

The data in this release are drawn from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS), which provides wage information by detailed occupation and economic region on an annual basis.

Largest full-time hourly wage increase in natural resources and agriculture occupations

The JVWS provides information on wages by occupation using the 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC). At the highest level of the NOC hierarchy, there are 10 broad occupational groups (one-digit NOC), each comprising 24 to 80 detailed occupations (four-digit NOC) at the lowest level of the NOC hierarchy.

Compared with 2016, average full-time hourly wages increased notably in 6 of the 10 broad occupational groups, led by natural resources and agriculture occupations. At the same time, wages declined in manufacturing and utilities occupations and were little changed in occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport; health; and management.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Annual change in average full-time hourly wage by broad occupational group, 2017
Annual change in average full-time hourly wage by broad occupational group, 2017

Chart 2  Chart 2: Average full-time hourly wage by broad occupational group, 2017
Average full-time hourly wage by broad occupational group, 2017 

In natural resources and agriculture occupations, the full-time wage rose 5.0% to $23.25 per hour in 2017. Supervisors in mining and quarrying were the highest paid within this broad occupational group at $46.70 per hour. On the other hand, nursery and greenhouse workers, as well as harvesting labourers were the lowest paid at $13.65. Compared with 2016, full-time job vacancies in this broad occupational group increased by 2,600 (+20.9%) and the average offered wage for these vacancies increased 10.5% to $15.85, the fastest offered wage growth among all broad occupational groups.

The average full-time hourly wage in education, law, and social, community and government services occupations increased 4.1% to $34.55 in 2017, driven by full-time employees of this broad occupational group working in educational services. Within this broad occupational group, lawyers and Quebec notaries earned the highest hourly wage at $57.05, followed by university professors and lecturers at $56.45. Conversely, home child care providers ($14.05) and home support workers and housekeepers ($16.90) received the lowest hourly wages.

In natural and applied sciences occupations, the full-time hourly wage grew 4.0% to $34.80 in 2017. Full-time natural and applied sciences employees working in information and cultural industries; transportation and warehousing; and administrative and support services contributed the most to the rise. Chemical engineers ($59.00) and petroleum engineers ($52.60) earned the highest wages. On the other hand, landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists ($21.20) and biological technologists and technicians ($23.90) earned the lowest wages.

The average full-time hourly wage in business, finance and administration occupations increased 2.3% to $26.60 in 2017. The growth was driven by full-time finance and administration employees working in transportation and warehousing; manufacturing; and professional, scientific and technical services. Within this broad occupational group, statistical officers and related research support occupations ($46.80) and assessors, valuators and appraisers ($44.25) earned the highest wages. The lowest wage was for collectors at $18.25 per hour.

The average hourly wage of full-time sales and services employees rose 1.9% to $19.20 in 2017. Full-time sales and services employees working in retail trade, wholesale trade, and health care and social assistance contributed the most to the rise. At $35.00 per hour, real estate agents and salespersons earned the highest wage. Conversely, food and beverage servers as well as bartenders earned the lowest at $12.00.

In trade, transport and equipment operators' occupations, the average full-time hourly wage was up 1.5% to $26.25 in 2017, driven by full-time employees of this broad occupational group working in construction, utilities and public administration. Contractors and supervisors in pipefitting trades ($44.20) and power system electricians ($43.95) earned the highest wages. On the other hand, taxi and limousine drivers and chauffeurs ($14.60) and material handlers ($19.05) earned the lowest. Compared with 2016, full-time job vacancies for trade, transport and equipment operators' occupations increased 40.8%, the fastest growth among all broad occupational groups.

In contrast, the average full-time hourly wage in manufacturing and utilities occupations fell 2.1% to $21.45. The decline was driven by full-time manufacturing and utilities employees working in manufacturing. Supervisors in petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities ($44.35) and power engineers and power systems operators ($39.05) had the highest wages, while industrial sewing machine operators ($13.90) and labourers in textile processing ($14.45) had the lowest wages.

Most economic regions with the highest hourly wages are in Alberta and the territories

In 2017, 8 of the 10 economic regions with the highest average hourly wages were in Alberta and the territories. Wood Buffalo–Cold Lake, Alberta, had the highest average hourly wage at $34.35. The average offered wage for vacancies in Wood Buffalo–Cold Lake was also among the highest at $26.10 per hour. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), Alberta (39.8%) had the highest proportion of people working full time aged 25 to 39 years old among the provinces.

Wages were also among the highest in the Northwest Territories ($33.30), Calgary, Alberta ($31.95), Nunavut ($31.70) and Banff–Jasper–Rocky Mountain House and Athabasca–Grande Prairie–Peace River, Alberta ($31.65).

In contrast, the 10 economic regions with the lowest average hourly wage were located in the Atlantic provinces and Quebec. At $19.65, Edmundston–Woodstock, New Brunswick, had the lowest average hourly wage in 2017, followed by Campbellton–Miramichi, New Brunswick ($20.40); Saint-John–St. Stephen, New Brunswick ($21.50); Prince Edward Island ($21.70); and Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia ($21.80). Annapolis Valley ($15.05) and Prince Edward Island ($15.15) had the lowest average offered wage for job vacancies in 2017. According to the LFS, unemployment rates in the Atlantic provinces were all above the national average in 2017 in Newfoundland and Labrador (14.8%), Prince Edward Island (9.8%), Nova Scotia (8.4%) and New Brunswick (8.1%).





Sustainable Development Goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nation's 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 Job Vacancy and Wage Survey 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 Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) is made up of two complementary components: the job vacancy component and the wage component. The wage component provides comprehensive information on average hourly wages paid to full-time employees by detailed occupation and economic region. The results of the wage component are published on an annual basis.

Collection of the wage component was suspended in January 2018. A study is being conducted on how to provide more detailed information by regions and occupations and the collection of wage information will resume based on the results of the study.

The JVWS is sponsored by Employment and Social Development Canada. It responds to key labour market information needs by providing critical data on current and emerging labour market. Results support decision making by job seekers, students, employers and policy makers.

The average full-time hourly wage paid is the average hourly wage paid by employers, before taxes and deductions, to full-time employees excluding overtime pay, tips, commissions, bonuses, haulage, kilometric or mileage pay, piecework rates, pension and healthcare benefits. Estimates are calculated based on the number of full-time employees per occupation at the business location. As a result, the average wage by occupation is weighted by the location weight, the occupation weight and the number of employees reported in the occupation at each location.

Occupations are classified according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016. The NOC is a four-tiered hierarchical structure of occupational groups with successive levels of disaggregation. The structure is as follows: 1) 10 broad occupational categories, also referred to as one-digit NOC; 2) 40 major groups, also referred to as two-digit NOC; 3) 140 minor groups, also referred to as three-digit NOC; and 4) 500 unit groups, also referred to as four-digit NOC.

Industrial sectors are classified according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2012. The NAICS has 20 industrial sectors at the two-digit level.

In the fall of 2018, the JVWS will be publishing historically revised estimates for the job vacancy and the wage components. These estimates will be calibrated on the revised employment totals from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) released on March 28, 2018.

Data quality of the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey

The target population of the survey includes all business locations in Canada, excluding those primarily involved in religious organizations and private households. In addition, locations with only one employee have been excluded from the survey population to reduce the response burden on small businesses.

Products

More information about the concepts and use of data from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey is available online in the Guide to the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (Catalogue number75-514-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), Labour Statistics Division.

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