Payroll employment, earnings and hours, May 2019
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,031 in May, up 1.1% from April. Earnings were up 3.4% compared with 12 months earlier.
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 May, little changed from the previous month and 12 months earlier.
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."
Earnings up across all largest industrial sectors
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings were up in all of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services.
For payroll employees in administrative and support services, earnings rose 7.5% to an average of $844 per week in May, with the employment services industry contributing the most to the growth. Weekly earnings in the sector rose in the majority of the provinces, with Ontario and Alberta contributing the most to the growth.
Earnings in professional, scientific and technical services rose 3.9% to $1,425 in May. Growth in the sector was attributable to an earnings increase in the legal services as well as payroll employment gains in the high-paying computer systems design industry. Payroll employment in this industry has been on a long-term upward trend, starting in the spring of 2012. While earnings and employment in the sector were up year over year in most provinces, Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec contributed the most to the increase.
Average weekly earnings in accommodation and food services grew 3.2% compared with 12 months earlier to $414 per week in May. The bulk of the gains were due to increased earnings in the full-service restaurants and limited-service eating place industry. This large industry accounts for more than three-quarters of payroll employment in the sector. Provincially, gains in Ontario and British Columbia contributed the most to the earnings growth.
In May, earnings increased in retail trade, up 2.8% on a year over year basis to $611, primarily due to a rise in motor vehicle and parts dealers. Earnings in retail trade were up in six provinces, with increases in Ontario and British Columbia contributing the most to the rise.
Compared with May 2018, earnings in wholesale trade increased 2.6% to $1,246. Earnings growth was observed in several subsectors, driven by wholesalers in personal and household goods as well as in machinery, equipment and supplies. Provincially, Ontario was the largest contributor to the increase in wholesale trade.
For payroll employees in manufacturing, earnings grew 2.6% to $1,132. Among the provinces, there were notable gains in Quebec, while at the subsector level, transportation equipment, paper and primary metal manufacturing were the largest contributors to the rise.
In health care and social assistance, average weekly earnings rose 2.4% to $936. Ambulatory health care services accounted for the majority of earnings growth in the sector, while provincially, Ontario was the largest contributor to the increase.
Average weekly earnings also increased in educational services, construction and public administration. Among the remaining sectors, finance and insurance (+7.2% to $1,420) as well as transportation and warehousing (+5.5% to $1,101) were notable contributors to the overall earnings increase.
Earnings up in nine provinces
On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings increased in nine provinces, led by Saskatchewan. At the same time, earnings were little changed in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Earnings for payroll employees in Saskatchewan rose 5.8% to $1,070, driven by increases in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction as well as health care and social assistance.
Compared with May 2018, average weekly earnings in British Columbia increased 4.3% to $1,000. The gains were spread across a majority of the sectors, driven by health care and social assistance and construction.
In New Brunswick, average weekly earnings were up 4.2% to $947. While there were increases across many sectors, educational services and manufacturing were the largest contributors to the growth.
On a year-over-year basis, earnings in Prince Edward Island grew 3.7% to $861. Average weekly earnings were boosted by gains in several sectors, driven by health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services and wholesale trade.
From May 2018 to May 2019, earnings in Ontario grew 3.6% to $1,052, with increases spread across many sectors. Earnings in the province have been trending up since February.
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Nova Scotia increased 3.5% to $899. Health care and social assistance, finance and insurance as well as construction contributed the most to the gains in the province.
For payroll employees in Alberta, average weekly earnings rose 3.0% to $1,183, driven by an increase in transportation and warehousing as well as finance and insurance.
Year over year, earnings in Quebec grew 2.9% to $957. While there were increases across several sectors, manufacturing contributed the most to the growth.
Average weekly earnings for payroll employees in Manitoba increased 1.8% to $955, mainly due to the educational services sector.
Payroll employment up in May
Compared with April, the number of non-farm payroll employees rose 32,600 in May. The largest monthly increases were in health care and social assistance, public administration and educational services. At the same time, employment declined in retail trade, accommodation and food services and construction.
On a year-over-year basis, the number of payroll employees rose by 353,000 (+2.1%). The largest increases were in healthcare and social assistance (+68,100 or +3.5%), educational services (+44,300 or +3.4%), public administration (+38,500 or +3.4%) and manufacturing (+36,700 or +2.4%). At the same time, payroll employment declined in information and cultural industries (-5,700 or -1.7%) and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-3,400 or -1.6%).
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 August 6.
Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for June will be released on August 29.
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 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 Valerie Gagnon (613-867-5782; email@example.com), Labour Statistics Division.
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