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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, January 2019

Released: 2019-03-27

Average weekly earnings — Canada

$1,011.62

January 2019

2.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.L.

$1,047.14

January 2019

1.4% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — P.E.I.

$854.91

January 2019

2.6% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.S.

$892.23

January 2019

4.5% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.B.

$925.43

January 2019

2.8% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Que.

$948.30

January 2019

3.1% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Ont.

$1,030.74

January 2019

2.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Man.

$951.88

January 2019

3.2% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Sask.

$1,024.05

January 2019

0.9% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Alta.

$1,152.31

January 2019

1.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — B.C.

$975.30

January 2019

1.9% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Y.T.

$1,129.32

January 2019

4.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — N.W.T.

$1,415.77

January 2019

0.8% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings — Nvt.

$1,388.17

January 2019

4.0% increase

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,012 in January, little changed from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings grew by 2.0%.

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 32.6 hours per week in January, little changed from the previous month but down from 32.7 hours in January 2018.

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

To explore the most recent results from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours in an interactive format, visit the "Earnings and payroll employment in brief: Interactive app."

Average weekly earnings by sector

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings were up in 7 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services. Earnings were little changed in construction, educational services and wholesale trade.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, January 2019
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, January 2019

Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings in administrative and support services increased by 6.5% to $831. This follows a relative low point in January 2018, and stronger earnings growth since October 2018. Year over year, services to buildings and dwellings contributed the most to the rise in earnings. The gains in this sector were largely driven by Ontario and British Columbia. Fourth quarter 2018 data from the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey (JVWS) showed that the number of job vacancies in this sector grew by 29.4% on a year-over-year basis. The offered hourly wage for these vacancies increased by 11.5%, the biggest increase among the 10 largest industrial sectors in the JVWS.

Average weekly earnings in accommodation and food services rose by 4.5% to $411, continuing a long-term upward trend. The year-over-year increase was mainly attributable to the full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places industry while provincially, Quebec led the earnings growth in this sector.

Compared with January 2018, earnings in retail trade increased by 4.0% to $605, led by gains in Ontario and Quebec. At the national level, motor vehicle and parts dealers contributed the most to the rise.

In professional, scientific and technical services, earnings rose by 2.9% to $1,403, mainly driven by Ontario. Nationally, employment growth in the high-paying computer systems design and related services industry contributed the most to the increase in earnings in the sector. According to the JVWS, job vacancies in professional, scientific and technical services were up 22.8% on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In the 12 months to January, average weekly earnings in manufacturing grew by 2.7% to $1,122, with the majority of this increase occurring in the last two months of 2018. Food manufacturing and primary metal manufacturing were the most notable contributors to the year-over-year earnings growth in this sector. Provincially, Quebec drove the higher earnings in manufacturing.

For payroll employees in health care and social assistance, average weekly earnings rose by 1.6% to $909. Quebec and Ontario were the largest contributors to the earnings gain. At the national level, most of the growth was from increased employment in ambulatory health care services.

In public administration, earnings grew by 1.3% to $1,322. Federal government public administration contributed the most to the rise.

Average weekly earnings by province

Compared with January 2018, average weekly earnings rose in every province except Saskatchewan, where there was little change.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings by province, January 2019
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings by province, January 2019

In Nova Scotia, earnings rose by 4.5% to $892, with employment and earnings growth in health care and social assistance contributing the most to the increase. Earnings in the province started on an upward trend in the spring of 2018. According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), from January 2018 to January 2019, Nova Scotia's unemployment rate declined from 8.2% to 6.9%.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in Manitoba grew by 3.2% to $952, with the manufacturing sector contributing the most to this increase.

In Quebec, earnings rose by 3.1% to $948, with health care and social assistance and manufacturing the largest contributors. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since the fall of 2018.

For payroll employees in New Brunswick, average weekly earnings rose by 2.8% to $925, driven by professional, scientific and technical services. Earnings in the province have been trending up since the summer of 2018.

In Prince Edward Island, average weekly earnings grew by 2.6% to $855, largely driven by an increase in employment in administrative and support services. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since the summer of 2018.

In the 12 months to January, earnings in Ontario increased by 2.0% to $1,031. Professional, scientific and technical services contributed the most to the rise, though gains were widespread across many sectors. The overall growth in the province was moderated by lower earnings in the finance and insurance sector.

On a year-over-year basis, earnings in British Columbia rose by 1.9% to $975. The construction sector contributed the most to the growth, while lower earnings in health care and social assistance moderated the increase. Most of the gain in earnings in the province occurred in the spring and summer of 2018.

For payroll employees in Newfoundland and Labrador, earnings grew by 1.4% to $1,047. Earnings growth in educational services contributed the most to the increase, which was moderated by a decline in transportation and warehousing.

In Alberta, average weekly earnings rose 1.0% to $1,152 in January. Higher earnings and employment in retail trade and professional, scientific and technical services were offset by lower earnings in wholesale trade and lower employment in construction and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. JVWS data from the fourth quarter of 2018 also showed a notable decline in the number of job vacancies in the province for mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll employees rose by 71,200 from December 2018 to January 2019. The largest monthly increases were in retail trade, construction, and health care and social assistance.

On a year-over-year basis, the pace of employment growth has been similar in both of Statistics Canada's monthly surveys with data on employment: the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours and the LFS.

In the 12 months to January, the number of payroll employees grew by 393,800 (+2.4%). Employment increased in nearly all sectors, led by health care and social assistance (+69,200 or +3.6%), where fourth quarter 2018 JVWS data showed the number of job vacancies rose by 26.7% year over year. From January 2018 to January 2019, employment declined the most in information and cultural industries (-7,100 or -2.1%).

Average weekly hours worked

Compared with January 2018, average weekly hours worked decreased in Newfoundland and Labrador (-1.8%), Alberta (-1.2%), British Columbia (-0.9%), New Brunswick (-0.9%) and Ontario (-0.6%), while they increased in Prince Edward Island (+0.9%). Hours were little changed in all other provinces.

Year over year, out of the 10 largest industrial sectors, the average number of hours worked increased in professional, scientific and technical services (+1.7%) and educational services (+1.6%). At the same time, there were declines in construction (-3.0%), retail trade (-1.4%), wholesale trade (-1.1%) and public administration (-0.9%). There was little change in administrative and support services; health care and social assistance; manufacturing; and accommodation and food services.



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 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

With this release of January 2019 data, the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) began using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2017 Version 3.0 instead of NAICS 2017 Version 2.0. Data were revised historically back to 2001. At the same time, seasonally adjusted data were revised based on the latest seasonal factors. Historical revisions were also made to a small number of industries by province or territory.

The 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 April 8.

Next release

Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for February will be released on April 25.

Products

Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for December 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 version of the Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (Catalogue number72-203-G).

The product "Earnings and payroll employment in brief: Interactive app" (Catalogue number14200001) is now available. This interactive visualization application provides a comprehensive picture of the Canadian labour market using the most recent data from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours. The estimates are seasonally adjusted and available by province and largest industrial sector. Historical estimates, going back 10 years, are also included. The interactive application allows users to quickly and easily explore and personalize the information presented. Combine multiple provinces and industrial sectors to create your own labour market domains of interest.

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), Labour Statistics Division.

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