Payroll employment, earnings and hours, November 2012

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Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $911 in November, up 0.5% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 3.2%.

Chart 1 
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours
Chart 1: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours

Chart description: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours

CSV version of chart 1

The 3.2% increase in earnings during the 12 months to November reflects a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience, as well as average hours worked per week. In November, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.2 hours per week, up from 33.1 the month before and 32.9 in November 2011.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in five of the largest industrial sectors: construction; accommodation and food services; professional, scientific and technical services; public administration; and educational services.

Chart 2 
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, November 2011 to November 2012
Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, November 2011 to November 2012

Chart description: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, November 2011 to November 2012

CSV version of chart 2

Average weekly earnings in construction increased 6.6% in the 12 months to November to $1,172, with gains spread across all industries within the sector.

In accommodation and food services, weekly earnings rose 4.6% to $373, led by growth in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places.

Weekly earnings in professional scientific and technical services increased 4.5% to $1,274. The most notable growth occurred in architectural, engineering and related services; computer systems design and related services; as well as legal services.

Average weekly earnings in public administration increased 4.1% in November to $1,167, with gains among all levels of government.

In educational services, weekly earnings rose 3.9% to $989, with the largest growth among universities.

Average weekly earnings up in every province

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in every province in the 12 months to November. The largest growth rates were in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.

Chart 3 
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, November 2011 to November 2012
Chart 3: Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, November 2011 to November 2012

Chart description: Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, November 2011 to November 2012

CSV version of chart 3

In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings increased 5.4% from 12 months earlier to $941, the highest year-over-year growth rate among the provinces. The growth in earnings was most notable in construction; manufacturing; and administrative and support services. Average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador were the second highest in the country after Alberta.

Average weekly earnings in Nova Scotia were $817 in November, up 4.6% from November2011. Despite a year-over-year growth rate above the national average since August, earnings in this province continue to be among the lowest in the country.

In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings rose 3.7% in the 12 months to November to $931. The main contributors to this increase were accommodation and food services; mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction as well as finance and insurance.

Earnings were still highest in Alberta at $1,086, a 3.4% increase from November 2011.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment edged up 3,100 in November, following a decline of 14,800 the previous month.

In November, the number of payroll employees increased in administrative and support services; public administration; and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. At the same time, there were small declines in real estate and rental and leasing as well as professional, scientific and technical services.

On a year-over-year basis, payroll employment rose by 228,400 (+1.5%).

Among all sectors, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction continued to post the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment at 8.3%. Growth was also strong in construction (+4.6%) as well as transportation and warehousing (+3.3%). The most notable declines were in forestry, logging and support services (-6.5%) and utilities (-3.2%).

Note to readers

The Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) is a business census of non-farm payroll employees. Its key objective is to provide a monthly portrait of the level of earnings, the number of jobs and hours worked by detailed industry at the national, provincial and territorial level.

Estimates of average weekly earnings and hours are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling variability. 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 monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). The LFS is a 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), unemployed and 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 SEPH and LFS do differ from time to time. However, the trends in the data are quite similar.

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which facilitates comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

Non-farm payroll employment data are for all hourly and salaried employees, as well as the "other employees" category, which includes piece-rate and commission-only employees.

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.

Revisions

With the March 27 release of January data, SEPH will start using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) instead of NAICS 2007. Data will be revised historically back to 1991. At the same time, seasonally adjusted data will be revised based on the latest seasonal factors. Historical revisions will also be made to a small number of industries by province or territory. These changes will have little impact on SEPH estimates.

Available in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table281-0023 to 281-0039 and CANSIM table281-0041 to 281-0049.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number2612.

A data table is available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Summary tables.

Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for December will be released on February 26.

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact May Roos (613-951-6014; may.roos@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.