Payroll employment, earnings and hours, August 2019
The average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,035 in August, up 0.6% from July. Compared with August 2018, earnings increased by 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 32.7 hours per week in August, little changed on both a monthly and year-over-year basis.
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."
Growth in earnings in 8 of the 10 largest industrial sectors
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings were up in 8 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by construction. At the same time, earnings were little changed in educational services and wholesale trade.
Average weekly earnings in construction rose 3.9% to $1,321 in August, driven almost entirely by two subsectors; the construction of buildings and specialty trade contractors. According to the Job Vacancy and Wage Survey, the average offered hourly wage in construction increased from $22.75 to $24.20 (+6.4%) from the second quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019. Quebec and Ontario accounted for the majority of earnings growth in the sector.
In accommodation and food services, average weekly earnings grew 3.9% to $422. The increase was driven by full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places and, to a lesser extent, traveller accommodation. The growth was spread across most provinces, with Ontario contributing the most to the increase. Earnings in the sector have been trending up since March 2019.
Payroll employees in administrative and support services earned an average of $830 per week in August, up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. Most of the rise is attributable to increases in Ontario and Quebec. While gains in employment services and in services to buildings and dwellings accounted for most of the increase at the national level, a decline in office administrative services tempered overall growth in the sector.
In manufacturing, average earnings in August were up 3.8%, rising to $1,146 per week. The growth was spread across several subsectors, with transportation equipment manufacturing and food manufacturing contributing the most to the increase. At the same time, the gains were partially offset by a marked decline in machinery manufacturing. Provincially, most of the rise was attributable to gains in Quebec.
Compared with August 2018, average weekly earnings in health care and social assistance grew 3.4% to $929, with the increase driven by ambulatory health care services. The rise in earnings in the sector as a whole was largely accounted for by Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.
Average weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services increased 2.2% to $1,446. The rise, due largely to growth in Ontario, was tempered by a decline in Alberta. Several industries contributed to the growth, led by computer systems design and related services. The rise was moderated by a notable decline in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services.
Payroll employees in retail trade earned an average of $625 per week in August, up 1.6% from 12 months earlier. Quebec and Alberta accounted for the majority of the gains in the sector. Several subsectors contributed to the rise, led by motor vehicle and parts dealers, and non-store retailers. At the same time, declines in general merchandise stores and electronics and appliance stores moderated earnings growth in the sector. According to the Retail Trade Survey, sales in the motor vehicles and parts dealers subsector rose 2.4% from August 2018 to August 2019, while sales in electronics and appliance stores were down 8.5% over the same period.
In the public administration sector, earnings grew 1.3% to an average of $1,331 per week, driven by gains in Quebec and Ontario. The rise was due primarily to an increase in local, municipal and regional public administration.
Earnings up in nine provinces
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings rose in nine provinces in August, led by Newfoundland and Labrador. At the same time, earnings were little changed in Manitoba.
Year over year, average earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador rose 4.5% to $1,077 per week. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since September 2018. Average weekly hours were also up in August, increasing from 33.7 to 34.2 year over year. The construction sector, which posted increases in both earnings and employment, was the largest contributor to the earnings gain. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction also contributed to growth in the province. The gains in this sector are partly due to earnings being at a relatively low point in August 2018.
In Nova Scotia, the earnings of payroll employees were up 3.9% to $911 per week. The gains were spread across several sectors, with health care and social assistance contributing the most to the increase.
Average weekly earnings in Ontario were $1,063 in August, up 3.6% from 12 months earlier. Growth was spread across several sectors, with professional, scientific and technical services contributing the most to the growth. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since August 2017. According to the Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate has remained at, or below, 6.0% over this period.
For payroll employees in Quebec, average earnings grew 3.6% to $969 per week. Manufacturing, the third-largest sector by employment, contributed the most to the rise. Average weekly earnings in the province have been trending up since October 2018.
Year over year, average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island rose 2.7% to $873. Three sectors accounted for the majority of the gains: professional, scientific and technical services; health care and social assistance; and manufacturing.
For payroll employees in British Columbia, average earnings increased by 2.2% to $1,002 per week. The largest contributors to the rise were the educational services and the health care and social assistance sectors.
In New Brunswick, average weekly earnings grew 2.0% to $940, primarily driven by increases in health care and social assistance, manufacturing, and administrative and support services. The year-over-year earnings increase in the province was due almost entirely to growth from March to May 2019.
Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan rose 1.9% to $1,027. Earnings in the province reached a peak in May 2019, and have now returned near the levels observed in early 2019. Several sectors contributed to the year-over-year increase, led by health care and social assistance.
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Alberta grew 0.9% to $1,171. The largest contributors were the health care and social assistance and transportation and warehousing sectors. Employment declines in the high-paying construction, and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sectors moderated earnings growth in the province.
Payroll employment little changed from July to August
Compared with July, the number of payroll employees was little changed in August. Notable increases in public administration; health care and social assistance; and professional, scientific and technical services were offset by marked declines in accommodation and food services, as well as in retail trade. Payroll employment in retail trade has been trending down since March 2019.
The number of payroll employees was up 345,800 (+2.1%) on a year-over-year basis in August. Employment increased in nearly all sectors, led by health care and social assistance (+63,100 or +3.2%), educational services (+49,300 or +3.7%), and professional, scientific and technical services (+47,100 or +5.0%). At the same time, declines occurred in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-3,100 or -1.5%) and forestry, logging and support (-1,500 or -3.7%).
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 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 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 the LFS do differ from time to time. However, the trends in the data are quite similar. For a more in-depth discussion of the conceptual differences between employment measures from the LFS and the 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 November 4.
Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for September will be released on November 28.
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 (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, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).
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