Payroll employment, earnings and hours, February 2019
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,007 in February, little changed from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings grew by 1.1%.
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 February, unchanged from the previous month, and down from 32.8 hours in February 2018.
To explore the most recent results of 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 accommodation and food services, and administrative and support services. At the same time, earnings were little changed in construction, retail trade, and wholesale trade.
On a year-over-year basis, earnings in the accommodation and food services sector rose by 4.5% to $414 in February. At the industry level, full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places contributed the most to the rise in the sector. Provincially, the increase was almost entirely attributable to Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.
Average weekly earnings in administrative and support services rose by 4.4% to $833 in February, with employment services as the largest contributor to this growth. Higher earnings and employment in Ontario, as well as stronger earnings in Alberta, helped drive the increase in this sector.
Year over year, average weekly earnings in health care and social assistance grew by 3.7% to $922. Ambulatory health care services contributed the most to this increase, while Ontario was the largest contributor to the growth in the sector at the provincial level.
In the 12 months to February, earnings increased by 3.4% to $1,421 in professional, scientific and technical services. Employment growth in the high-paying computer systems design and related services industry contributed the most to the increase, while provincially, Ontario was the largest contributor to the higher earnings in the sector. Year over year, average weekly hours worked in professional, scientific and technical services increased from 35.9 to 36.5 (+1.7%).
Average weekly earnings in public administration grew by 2.3% to $1,323 in February. Federal government public administration was the largest contributor to this increase.
For payroll employees in manufacturing, average weekly earnings rose by 2.3% to $1,117, largely driven by gains in Quebec. At the subsector level, fabricated metal product manufacturing was among the largest contributors to the year-over-year earnings growth in the sector.
In educational services, earnings rose by 2.0% to $1,073 in February. Elementary and secondary schools contributed the most to the rise, while provincially, Quebec was the largest contributor to the increase in the sector. Year over year, average weekly hours worked in educational services rose from 32.3 to 32.7 (+1.2%).
Average weekly earnings by province
Compared with February 2018, average weekly earnings rose in Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario. At the same time, earnings decreased in Alberta, while they were little changed in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.
For payroll employees in Manitoba, average weekly earnings grew by 2.7% to $952 in February, driven by higher earnings and employment in manufacturing. Additionally, year over year, average weekly hours worked across all sectors in the province rose by 0.9%. At the same time, according to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate declined from 5.9% to 5.3%.
Year over year, earnings in Quebec rose by 2.4% to $950, with most of the growth occurring since the fall of 2018. Health care and social assistance, as well as manufacturing, were the largest contributors to the year-over-year increase.
From February 2018 to February 2019, earnings in Nova Scotia rose by 2.2% to $885, driven by educational services, and health care and social assistance. According to the LFS, over this same time period, the unemployment rate in Nova Scotia declined from 7.9% to 6.4%.
In New Brunswick, average weekly earnings grew by 1.2% to $920 in February, with the growth led by educational services.
Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings in British Columbia rose by 1.1% to $969. Health care and social assistance contributed the most to the rise.
Year over year, earnings in Saskatchewan increased by 1.0% to $1,025 in February. At the sector level, health care and social assistance was the largest contributor to the growth, while lower employment in construction and weaker earnings in wholesale trade moderated the overall increase.
In Ontario, average weekly earnings grew by 1.0% to $1,026 in February. Professional, scientific and technical services, as well as health care and social assistance, were the largest contributors to the growth, which was moderated by a notable decline in the finance and insurance sector.
For payroll employees in Alberta, earnings fell by 1.2% to $1,141. Declines in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, as well as construction, contributed the most to the decrease. Year over year, average weekly hours worked across all sectors in Alberta declined by 1.2%. Data from the LFS for the same time period show that the province's unemployment rate rose from 6.6% to 7.3%.
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
The number of non-farm payroll employees rose by 31,700 from January to February. The largest monthly increases were in retail trade and manufacturing, while there were smaller increases in most other sectors. Small declines were observed in other services (except public administration) and construction.
In the 12 months to February, the number of payroll employees grew by 404,500 (+2.5%). Employment increased in nearly all sectors, led by health care and social assistance (+73,300 or +3.8%) and retail trade (+53,400 or +2.7%). At the same time, payroll employment declined in the information and cultural industries (-12,000 or -3.5%) and in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-2,400 or -1.2%).
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 May 6.
Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for March will be released on May 30.
Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for January 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 (72-203-G).
The product "Earnings and payroll employment in brief: Interactive app" (14200001) 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.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org), Labour Statistics Division.
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