Payroll employment, earnings and hours, May 2018
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The average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees totalled $998 in May, up 0.4% from April following five months of virtually no change. In the 12 months to May, earnings increased by 2.9%.
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 May, little changed from April. Compared with May 2017, average hours worked edged up from 32.7 hours per week.
Average weekly earnings by sector
In the 12 months to May, average weekly earnings increased in 8 of the 10 largest industrial sectors. At the same time, there was little change in earnings in both educational services and administrative and support services.
For payroll employees working in retail trade, earnings rose 5.8% to $589 per week, the seventh consecutive month of notable year-over-year growth for this sector. In May, the growth was mainly driven by building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers; general merchandise stores; as well as clothing and clothing accessories stores. Earnings growth was widespread across provinces, with Alberta (+7.2%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+6.9%) and Ontario (+6.1%) leading the gains.
In May, weekly earnings were 4.9% higher than 12 months earlier in public administration, amounting to an average of $1,320. The rise was spread across the subsectors and was led by increases in Ontario and Quebec. Earnings in public administration have been trending up since the fall of 2016.
Average weekly earnings in wholesale trade were up 4.7% to $1,252. Most of the increase was attributable to wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies. Earnings in this sector have trended up since the start of 2017.
In accommodation and food services, earnings were up 4.6% to $397. Earnings in the sector have been trending up since early 2017. The fastest year-over-year growth was in Ontario (+8.6%), mostly the result of gains in the second half of 2017.
In May, average weekly earnings in the construction sector were up 3.4% year over year to $1,243. This was largely attributable to the specialty trade contractors subsector. Provincially, earnings growth in Ontario contributed the most to the rise in this sector.
The average weekly earnings of employees in the health care and social assistance sector increased 2.7% to $915. This was mainly attributable to the ambulatory health care services subsector. The sector saw earnings growth in eight provinces, with Quebec contributing the most to the change.
In manufacturing, weekly earnings increased by 1.6% in the 12 months to May to an average of $1,100. The rise was spread across multiple subsectors, notably in food manufacturing. Most of the increase was attributable to Quebec, where the year-over-year growth in earnings was 3.5%.
There were also earnings gains in professional, scientific and technical services, where average weekly earnings rose 1.2% to $1,367. Earnings in the sector have been relatively stable since the start of 2018.
Average weekly earnings by province
In the 12 months to May, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in eight provinces, led by Quebec and Alberta. Earnings were little changed in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as in Saskatchewan.
Average weekly earnings in Quebec rose 3.5% to $929. The public administration, health care and social assistance and manufacturing sectors contributed the most to the earnings growth in the province.
In Alberta, average weekly earnings were up 3.4% to $1,150. The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector contributed the most to the earnings growth. Both payroll employment and earnings rose in this high-paying sector. Earnings also increased in retail trade, while employment was virtually unchanged in the sector.
In the 12 months to May, earnings in New Brunswick grew 3.2% to $912. Increases in health care and social assistance contributed the most to the rise.
Average weekly earnings rose 3.2% to $842 in Prince Edward Island, with administrative and support services contributing most to the earnings growth.
In Ontario, average weekly earnings increased 3.1% to $1,016. Public administration, finance and insurance as well as construction were the largest contributors to the rise. In the first five months of 2018, earnings in the province have grown at a slower pace than in the last five months of 2017.
In Manitoba, average weekly earnings also grew 3.1% in the 12 months to May to $937. Increases in earnings in manufacturing were tempered by a decrease in the number of employees in the high-paying finance and insurance sector.
In Nova Scotia, average weekly earnings increased 2.7% to $869. Earnings grew across many sectors in the province, with health care and social assistance the main contributor to the increase. At the same time, earnings declined by 4.5% in information and cultural industries.
In British Columbia, average earnings were up 2.1% to $960 per week. Many sectors contributed to the growth, led by public administration and construction, while it was tempered by a notable decline in administrative and support services.
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
The number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 41,300 from April to May. The largest gains were in educational services, health care and social assistance, as well as arts, entertainment and recreation. Smaller increases were recorded in other industrial sectors, such as administrative and support services; professional, scientific and technical services; and public administration.
In the 12 months to May, the number of payroll jobs rose by 385,900 (+2.4%). Growth was widespread across sectors, with the largest increase in health care and social assistance (+53,700 or +2.8%). The rise in this sector was shared between the ambulatory health care services and social assistance subsectors.
There was also an increase in the number of payroll employees in manufacturing (+46,200 or +3.1%) spread across most subsectors.
The employment growth in educational services (+42,200 or +3.3%) was driven by elementary and secondary schools.
The number of payroll jobs increased by 41,000 or 4.6% in professional, scientific and technical services. The rise was largely attributable to growth in the computer systems design and related services industry. Payroll employment has been trending upwards in the sector since September 2016.
In public administration, the rise in payroll employment (+39,600 or +3.7%) was driven by gains in federal as well as provincial and territorial public administration.
Sustainable Development Goals
On 1 January 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 August 7.
Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for June will be released on August 30.
Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for April 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 Bertrand Ouellet-Léveillé (613-864-6641; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Client Services (toll-free: 1-866-873-8788; email@example.com), Labour Statistics Division.