Payroll employment, earnings and hours, October 2019
The average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,042 in October, little changed from September. Compared with October 2018, earnings grew 3.3%.
In general, changes in weekly earnings are the result of 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 32.9 hours per week in October, little changed from September, but up from 32.7 hours in October 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."
Earnings up in all of the largest industrial sectors
On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings grew in all 10 of the largest industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services.
Average weekly earnings in administrative and support services rose 9.1% on a year-over-year basis to $839, partly due to earnings being at a relatively low level in October 2018. The increase was primarily due to the employment services, services to buildings and dwellings, and investigation and security services industries. At the provincial level, the largest increases in earnings were in Quebec and Ontario.
In accommodation and food services, average weekly earnings rose 5.6% on a year-over-year basis to $433. Earnings and hours in this sector have trended up since July. Nationally, the earnings increase in October was predominantly due to full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places.
Payroll employees in manufacturing earned an average of $1,152 per week in October, an increase of 5.5% on a year-over-year basis. Provincially, Quebec contributed the most to the year-over-year growth in the sector. The increase at the national level was spread across several subsectors, driven by food, machinery, plastics and rubber products, and transportation equipment manufacturing.
Compared with October 2018, weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services were up 3.4% to $1,457. This increase was spread across several industries, led by legal services. Most of the year-over-year growth in the sector occurred in Ontario.
Year over year, weekly earnings in retail trade increased 3.2% to $633, continuing an upward trend that started in April. Quebec accounted for the majority of the year-over-year gains in this sector. Nationally, the earnings growth was primarily due to the motor vehicle and parts dealers, and food and beverage stores subsectors.
In educational services, earnings rose 2.6% to $1,091, led by Quebec. Elementary and secondary schools accounted for most of the growth at the national level.
Average weekly earnings in wholesale trade were $1,244 in October 2019, up 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. The increase was almost entirely due to wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies and was partially offset by a decline in earnings in wholesalers of food, beverage and tobacco.
Compared with October 2018, weekly earnings in health care and social assistance grew 2.3% to $940. Most of the growth can be attributed to the ambulatory health care services subsector. Provincially, British Columbia and Quebec accounted for the bulk of the earnings growth in the sector.
In construction, average weekly earnings rose 1.5% on a year-over-year basis to $1,280, largely due to an increase in Quebec. At the same time, earnings growth was tempered by declines in Alberta. Nationally, the year-over-year increases observed in the specialty trade contractors and construction of buildings subsectors were tempered by a decline in the heavy and civil engineering construction subsector.
Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings in public administration were 1.5% higher in October, at $1,341. Quebec accounted for the majority of the gains in the sector. At the national level, the rise in earnings was primarily due to the local, municipal and regional public administration subsector.
Earnings grow in all provinces
Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings increased in all provinces in October, with the largest increase in Nova Scotia.
In Nova Scotia, average weekly earnings in October were up 4.7% to $918 on a year-over-year basis. The growth was spread across several sectors, with health care and social assistance contributing the most to the rise. Earnings in this province have trended up since March.
Compared with October 2018, average weekly earnings in Quebec grew 3.9% to $972. The earnings growth was spread over several sectors, with manufacturing contributing the most to the growth.
Year over year, weekly earnings in New Brunswick grew 3.8% to $951, continuing an upward trend that began in July. The year-over-year increase was mainly due to educational services.
In Alberta, earnings were up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis to $1,185 in October, continuing an upward trend which began in August. Several sectors contributed to the earnings growth, including mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.
Payroll employees in British Columbia earned an average of $1,012 per week in October, an increase of 3.3% from 12 months earlier. The rise was primarily due to health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services, and educational services.
Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings in Prince Edward Island were 3.2% higher in October, at $887. Public administration, health care and social assistance, and manufacturing contributed the most to the rise. Earnings in this province have trended up since March.
In Ontario, earnings rose 3.2% on a year-over-year basis to $1,064. Earnings growth was spread across several sectors, with professional, scientific and technical services contributing the most to the rise.
Average weekly earnings in Manitoba were $969 in October, up 2.8% compared with 12 months earlier. The educational services and manufacturing sectors were the largest contributors to the increase.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings rose 2.3% on a year-over-year basis to $1,065. Several sectors contributed to the rise, including health care and social assistance, as well as construction. At the same time, a decline in educational services moderated earnings growth in the province.
On a year-over-year basis, earnings in Saskatchewan grew 2.2% to $1,047. The growth in the province was mainly attributable to manufacturing and educational services.
Payroll employment little changed in October
The number of payroll employees was little changed from September to October. Increases were recorded in transportation and warehousing, and administrative and support services. At the same time, decreases were observed in manufacturing as well as accommodation and food services.
Year over year, the number of payroll employees increased by 276,000 (+1.6%). Employment grew in most sectors, led by health care and social assistance (+53,000 or +2.7%), professional, scientific and technical services (+46,900 or +5.0%), and educational services (+43,300 or +3.3%). At the same time, payroll employment declined in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (-3,800 or -1.8%) and forestry, logging and support (-1,600 or -4.1%).
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 key objective of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) is to provide a monthly portrait of the level of earnings, employment, and hours worked, by detailed industry, at the national, provincial and territorial levels.
SEPH estimates are produced by integrating information from three sources: a census of approximately one million payroll deduction records provided by the Canada Revenue Agency; the Business Payrolls Survey, which collects data from a sample of 15,000 establishments; and administrative records of federal, provincial and territorial public administration employment provided by these levels of government.
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 records and are not subject to sampling variability.
With each release of SEPH data, data for the preceding month are revised. Users are encouraged to use the most up-to-date data available for each month.
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. For a more in-depth discussion of 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.
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 6, 2020.
Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for November 2019 will be released on January 30, 2020.
More information about the concepts and use of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours 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 Dylan Saunders (613-762-6972; firstname.lastname@example.org), Centre for Labour Market Information.
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