Payroll employment, earnings and hours, April 2018
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The average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $995 in April, virtually unchanged compared with the previous month. In the 12 months to April, earnings were up 2.5%. After rising rapidly from August to December 2017, earnings have been relatively stable since the start of 2018.
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 April, down from 33.0 hours in March, and little changed in comparison with April 2017.
Average weekly earnings by sector
In the 12 months to April 2018, average weekly earnings increased in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by retail trade. Decreases were observed in administrative and support services, and manufacturing. At the same time, earnings were little changed in educational services, and health care and social assistance.
In April, average weekly earnings in retail trade were up 8.1% to $604, the largest year-over-year growth rate since February 2003. Ontario and Quebec recorded the fastest growth among the provinces. Most of the rise was due to gains from September 2017 to March 2018. In the 12 months to April, nearly half of the increase in the sector was attributable to motor vehicle and parts dealers, and general merchandise stores.
For payroll employees in wholesale trade, earnings rose 5.3% to an average of $1,272 per week. The gains were spread across most provinces, and notable increases were observed in Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia. Wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies accounted for the majority of earnings growth in the sector.
Average earnings in accommodation and food services grew 4.5% to $397 per week, with Ontario, Quebec and Alberta accounting for virtually all of the increase. The bulk of the gains were attributable to full-service restaurants and limited service eating places as well as traveller accommodation. Average weekly earnings in the sector have been trending upward since March 2017.
Average weekly earnings in public administration increased 4.5% to $1,307 in April. The growth was spread across a majority of subsectors, with local, municipal, and regional public administration contributing the most to the rise. Earnings in public administration have been on an upward trend since April 2017. Among the provinces, there were notable gains in Quebec and Ontario.
In April, the average weekly earnings of payroll employees in professional, scientific and technical services were up 3.6% to $1,356. Earning were up in most industries, but the rise was mainly due to employment growth in the high-paying computer systems design and related services industry. Ontario and Quebec were the largest contributors to the earnings increase in the sector.
Average weekly earnings in construction rose 2.0% to $1,231 in April due to the strong upward trend from the third quarter of 2017 to the first quarter of 2018. The growth in earnings was driven by specialty trade contractors and, to a lesser extent, by the construction of buildings. The notable contributions of Ontario and Quebec were moderated by a decline in Newfoundland and Labrador. Average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador's construction sector have been trending down since June 2017. This also coincides with a decline in payroll employment and the completion of major construction projects in the province.
Earnings fell 5.1% to an average of $772 per week in administrative and support services, largely due to declines in Quebec and British Columbia. Part of the decline in Quebec was due to earnings being at a high point in April 2017. The overall decrease in the sector was almost entirely driven by office administrative services and employment services.
In April, average weekly earnings in manufacturing decreased 2.8% to $1,074. The decline was attributable to decreases in several subsectors, led by petroleum and coal product manufacturing, and primary metal manufacturing. The decline in petroleum and coal product manufacturing was partly attributable to earnings being at a relatively high point in April 2017. Notable gains in chemical manufacturing and non-metallic mineral product manufacturing moderated the earnings decline in the sector. Average weekly earnings fell in most provinces, with Ontario and Alberta contributing the most to the decrease.
Average weekly earnings by province
In the 12 months to April, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in seven provinces, led by Quebec and Prince Edward Island. At the same time, earnings were little changed in Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Average weekly earnings in Quebec rose 3.7% to $928 in April. The gains were spread across a majority of sectors in the province. Public administration; professional, scientific and technical services; and retail trade contributed the most to the rise. Since November 2017, Quebec has recorded the fastest year-over-year earnings growth among the provinces. According to the Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate reached a record low in December 2017 and has remained at a similar level since.
Payroll employees in Prince Edward Island earned an average of $848 per week in April, up 3.7%. The gain was mainly due to increases observed during the fall of 2017. Manufacturing, and health care and social assistance were the most important contributors to the earnings growth in the province.
Among payroll employees in New Brunswick, average weekly earnings rose 3.2% to $907. Earning were up in many sectors, with public administration, health care and social assistance, and transportation and warehousing contributing the most to the increase.
Average weekly earnings in Ontario increased 2.7% to $1,013 per week, driven by growth in professional, scientific and technical services; public administration; and retail trade. Earnings in the province have been relatively flat since December 2017.
In April, earnings grew 2.4% to an average of $1,153 per week in Alberta. The largest contributor to the earning gains in the province was the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector. Both earnings and employment were up in this sector, which has the highest average weekly earnings in the province.
For payroll employees in British Columbia, earnings rose 1.6% to an average of $952 per week. Average weekly earnings were boosted by gains in several sectors, led by retail trade. The increase in the province was partially offset by a notable decline in administrative and support services.
Average weekly earnings in Manitoba grew 1.6% to $938 in April, continuing an upward trend that began in the summer of 2017. Manufacturing, real estate and rental and leasing, and public administration contributed the most to the increase. The growth in earnings in the province was moderated by an employment decline in the high-paying finance and insurance sector.
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
The number of non-farm payroll employees was little changed from March to April. The largest increases were in health care and social assistance, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services. At the same time, the number of employees declined notably in retail trade and construction.
In the 12 months to April, the number of payroll jobs rose by 384,600 (+2.4%). Growth was widespread across the sectors, and the largest increase was recorded in health care and social assistance (+52,700 or +2.8%). Ambulatory health care services and social assistance accounted for nearly all of the rise in this sector.
There was also a notable increase in manufacturing (+51,900 or +3.5%), driven by food and transportation equipment manufacturing.
For professional, scientific, and technical services, where payroll employment increased by 42,300 (+4.8%), the majority of the growth was due to computer systems design and related services. The increase in this industry continues a long-term upward trend that began in the spring of 2012.
The number of employees also rose notably in educational services (+37,300 or +2.9%) and public administration (+36,800 or +3.4%). Meanwhile, employment fell in information and cultural industries (-7,000 or -2.0%), mainly due to declines in telecommunications and publishing.
Celebrating the anniversary of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours
A century has gone by since the Dominion Bureau of Statistics—later renamed Statistics Canada—was created. Over the course of 2018, Statistics Canada will celebrate some major milestones with Canadians. Our theme—One Hundred Years and Counting—honours a century of growth and sheds light on an even brighter future.
One such significant event in recent decades related to labour statistics was the implementation of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH). April 1983 was the first reference month published by SEPH and the April 2018 release marks the 35th anniversary of this survey.
Prior to 1983, labour information from businesses had been collected by the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Man-hours. It was a census of all companies having 20 or more employees, but no information from smaller companies was collected. To improve survey coverage and data quality, the census was replaced by SEPH, a sample survey made of 70,000 establishments from all companies operating in Canada and covering almost all industries. SEPH has evolved, moving from a paper questionnaire to computer assisted telephone interviewing and an electronic questionnaire. In the 1990s, the survey was enriched by the use of administrative data, contributing to lower response burden and cost savings. Today, the SEPH program is made up of 15,000 establishments in addition to the ongoing census of federal, provincial and territorial departments.
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
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 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 (). 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 data tables
Real-time tables 14-10-0357-01, 14-10-0358-01, 14-10-0331-01 and 14-10-0332-01 will be updated on July 9.
Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for May will be released on July 26.
Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for March are now available.
More information about the concepts and use of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours and Job Vacancy Statistics is available in an updated issue of 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).
To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Vincent Hardy (613-290-3707; firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Client Services (toll-free: 1-866-873-8788; email@example.com), Labour Statistics Division.