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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, August 2018

Released: 2018-10-25

Average weekly earnings — Canada

$1,005.89

August 2018

2.9% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.L.

$1,031.49

August 2018

-0.1% decrease

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — P.E.I.

$847.79

August 2018

3.7% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.S.

$878.46

August 2018

1.1% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.B.

$923.43

August 2018

3.1% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Que.

$935.50

August 2018

2.5% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Ont.

$1,021.49

August 2018

3.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Man.

$949.57

August 2018

3.8% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Sask.

$1,010.56

August 2018

-0.1% decrease

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Alta.

$1,168.41

August 2018

3.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — B.C.

$980.62

August 2018

4.1% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Y.T.

$1,130.69

August 2018

1.8% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.W.T.

$1,428.38

August 2018

1.3% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Nvt.

$1,385.81

August 2018

3.7% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,006 in August, up 0.6% from July. Compared with August 2017, earnings rose 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 August, unchanged from both the previous month and 12 months earlier.

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

Average weekly earnings by sector

Average weekly earnings rose in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors compared with August 2017, led by retail trade. Earnings were little changed in manufacturing, educational services, health care and social assistance, as well as administrative and support services.

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

Average weekly earnings in retail trade were up 9.7% to $613 in the 12 months to August. Earnings growth was spread across multiple subsectors, including food and beverage stores, general merchandise stores, and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers. Most of the growth was observed from August 2017 to March 2018.

In professional, scientific and technical services, earnings grew 6.5% to $1,401 on a year-over-year basis. Earnings growth in this sector was primarily driven by the high-paying computer systems design and related services industry. Average weekly earnings in this sector were at a relative low point in August 2017. Earnings have trended up in this sector since May.

In the 12 months to August, earnings in accommodation and food services increased 5.3% to $408. Most of the earnings growth can be attributed to the full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places industry. Provincially, Ontario and Alberta contributed the most to the gains in this sector.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in construction were up 5.2% to $1,275. The specialty trade contactors subsector contributed the most to the earnings increase in the sector. Earnings growth can be largely traced to Ontario and British Columbia.

Payroll employees in public administration saw average weekly earnings rise 2.7% to $1,309. Earnings growth in this sector was driven by federal public administration, as well as provincial and territorial public administration.

In wholesale trade, earnings increased 1.8% to $1,229. Notable earnings growth was observed in the business-to-business electronic markets, and agents and brokers, as well as in the food, beverage and tobacco wholesaler subsectors. Quebec was largely responsible for earnings growth in the sector.

Average weekly earnings by province

In the 12 months to August, earnings growth was observed across most provinces, led by British Columbia. Concurrently, average weekly earnings were little changed in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

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

In British Columbia, average weekly earnings grew 4.1% to $981. Gains in construction and professional, scientific and technical services contributed the most to the increase. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since May.

For payroll employees in Manitoba, average weekly earnings were up 3.8% to $950. Gains in the province were led by a marked earnings increase in the information and cultural industries sector, which was at a relatively low point in August 2017. Earnings in the province have trended upward since November 2017.

In the 12 months to August, earnings in Prince Edward Island increased 3.7% to an average of $848 per week. Notable earnings growth was observed in administrative and support services, and in retail trade.

Average weekly earnings rose 3.1% to $923 in New Brunswick. Year-over-year earnings increases were led by real estate and rental and leasing.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in Alberta increased 3.0% to $1,168. Notable earnings growth was observed in several sectors, including educational services, professional, scientific and technical services, and retail trade.

In Ontario, earnings grew 3.0% to $1,021, with professional, scientific and technical services, as well as retail trade contributing the most to the rise.

Payroll employees in Quebec saw their earnings rise 2.5% to $936 in the 12 months to August, with the largest gains in wholesale trade.

Average weekly earnings in Nova Scotia increased 1.1% to $878, mainly due to earnings growth in professional, scientific and technical services, and in retail trade.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll employees was up 24,600 from July. The increase in payroll jobs was spearheaded by health care and social assistance, itself driven by ambulatory health care services, and nursing and residential care facilities. The number of non-farm payroll employees also rose in several other sectors, including finance and insurance, and retail trade. Over the same period, employment declined in administrative and support services, in arts, entertainment and recreation, and in construction.

Compared with August 2017, the number of payroll employees increased by 303,100 (+1.9%). Employment grew in most sectors, led by health care and social assistance (+67,500 or +3.5%), educational services (+40,700 or +3.2%) and professional, scientific and technical services (+39,800 or +4.4%).

In contrast, the number of payroll employees decreased in five sectors over the previous 12 months, most notably in information and cultural industries (-5,700 or -1.7%), retail trade (-5,600 or -0.3%), and real estate and rental and leasing (-3,400 or -1.1%).



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 (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 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 November 5.

Next release

Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for September will be released on November 29.

Products

Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for July 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 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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