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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, October 2018

Released: 2018-12-20

Average weekly earnings — Canada

$1,008.85

October 2018

2.5% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.L.

$1,039.84

October 2018

0.1% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — P.E.I.

$850.43

October 2018

3.5% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.S.

$884.81

October 2018

3.2% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.B.

$918.89

October 2018

2.2% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Que.

$937.37

October 2018

3.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Ont.

$1,030.27

October 2018

2.9% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Man.

$944.33

October 2018

3.9% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Sask.

$1,029.23

October 2018

2.2% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Alta.

$1,143.82

October 2018

0.2% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — B.C.

$978.29

October 2018

2.7% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Y.T.

$1,142.51

October 2018

3.9% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.W.T.

$1,431.54

October 2018

4.5% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Nvt.

$1,430.52

October 2018

6.8% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,009 in October, up 0.6% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings increased by 2.5%.

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 October, up from 32.5 hours the previous month, but down from 32.8 hours in October 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

Average weekly earnings by sector

Compared with October 2017, average weekly earnings increased in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, with retail trade leading these increases for the seventh consecutive month. Earnings were little changed in educational services, administrative and support services, manufacturing and wholesale trade.

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

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in retail trade rose 7.6% to $613. General merchandise stores and motor vehicle and parts dealers contributed the most to the growth. Employees in retail trade worked an average of 28.4 hours per week in October, up from 27.8 hours per week 12 months earlier.

In accommodation and food services, earnings increased by 6.1% to $410, largely due to the full-service restaurants and limited-service eating place industry. Earnings in this sector have been on an upward trend since the spring of 2017.

For payroll employees in professional, scientific and technical services, earnings in October were $1,402, up 3.6% from 12 months earlier. Earnings and employment gains in architectural, engineering and related services contributed the most to the increase, followed by employment growth in computer systems design and related services.

In health care and social assistance, average weekly earnings rose 3.2% to $920, led by ambulatory health care services and social assistance.

Earnings in public administration were up 2.2% to $1,313 in October. The largest contributors to the increase in this sector were federal, and provincial and territorial public administration. Provincially, Quebec contributed the most to the increase in public administration, with notable growth from October 2017 to May 2018.

In construction, earnings rose 1.6% to $1,258, driven by growth in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. The increase was partly offset by a decline in employment in Alberta, where wages in construction were the highest among the provinces. At the national level, heavy and civil engineering construction led the year-over-year increase in this sector.

Average weekly earnings by province

In the 12 months to October, average weekly earnings grew in eight provinces, led by Manitoba. At the same time, earnings were little changed in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

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

In Manitoba, average weekly earnings rose 3.9% to $944 in October, with educational services and information and cultural industries contributing the most to the growth. The minimum hourly wage in Manitoba increased from $11.15 to $11.35 effective October 1, 2018.

On a year-over-year basis, earnings in Prince Edward Island were up 3.5% to $850, partly attributable to a relative low period in earnings in the fall of 2017. The gains were spread across several sectors, with administrative and support services contributing the most to the increase.

Earnings in Nova Scotia were $885 in October, an increase of 3.2%. The health care and social assistance sector contributed the most to the gains in the province.

Average weekly earnings were $937 in Quebec, 3.0% higher than 12 months earlier. Gains were widespread, with health care and social assistance, and professional, scientific and technical services contributing the most to the increase.

Payroll employees in Ontario saw their average weekly earnings increase by 2.9% to $1,030, with health care and social assistance contributing the most to the rise.

In British Columbia, earnings were up 2.7% to $978, with construction contributing the most to the growth.

For payroll employees in Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings rose 2.2% to $1,029. Public administration was the largest contributor to this year-over-year increase. The minimum hourly wage in Saskatchewan increased from $10.96 to $11.06 effective October 1, 2018.

In New Brunswick, earnings were up 2.2% to $919 in October, with public administration, and real estate and rental and leasing contributing the most to the growth.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll employees rose by 42,800 from September. The largest month-over-month increases were in health care and social assistance, manufacturing and construction. At the same time, payroll employment declined in accommodation and food services as well as in the information and cultural industries.

Compared with October 2017, the number of payroll employees rose by 380,900 (+2.3%). Employment increased in most sectors, led by health care and social assistance (+64,000 or +3.3%), professional, scientific and technical services (+43,400 or +4.8%) and manufacturing (+37,900 or +2.5%). In contrast, there were declines in information and cultural industries (-4,400 or -1.3%) and real estate and rental and leasing (-1,100 or -0.4%).



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 January 7, 2019.

Next release

Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for November 2018 will be released on January 30, 2019.

Products

Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for September 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 Rachelle Pelletier (613-415-4867; rachelle.pelletier@canada.ca) or Client Services (toll-free: 1-866-873-8788; statcan.labour-travail.statcan@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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