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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, March 2013

Released: 2013-05-29

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $915 in March, up 0.7% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 3.1%.

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

The 3.1% increase in earnings during the 12 months to March 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 March, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.0 hours per week, up from the month and year before, both at 32.9 hours per week.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in six of the largest industrial sectors.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, March 2012 to March 2013 - Description and data table
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, March 2012 to March 2013

Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, March 2012 to March 2013 - Description and data table

Average weekly earnings in educational services increased 4.3% to $995 in the 12 months to March, with notable growth in universities as well as elementary and secondary schools.

In professional, scientific and technical services, average weekly earnings grew 4.0% to $1,284, led by growth in architectural, engineering and related services; legal services; and advertising, public relations, and related services.

Weekly earnings in health care and social assistance increased 3.9% to $837, with the largest growth in social assistance and hospitals.

In public administration, weekly earnings rose 3.7% to $1,177 in the 12 months to March, mainly a result of growth in local, municipal and regional public administration.

Weekly earnings in retail trade edged down 0.3% to $524 in the 12 months to March, with the most notable declines in clothing and clothing accessories stores as well as furniture and home furnishings stores. These losses were partially offset by earnings growth in electronics and appliance stores and general merchandise stores.

Average weekly earnings by province

Year-over-year earnings growth of non-farm payroll employees was above the national average in Saskatchewan and Alberta, and the same as the average in Ontario. The growth was below the national average in the other provinces.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, March 2012 to March 2013 - Description and data table
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, March 2012 to March 2013

Chart 3: Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, March 2012 to March 2013 - Description and data table

Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan increased 5.5% to $967 in the 12 months to March, led by growth in health care and social assistance; retail trade; and educational services.

In Alberta, average weekly earnings rose to $1,111, up 4.6% from 12 months earlier, with growth across all sectors.

Ontario's average weekly earnings increased 3.1% to $926 in the 12 months to March. This was the first time that Ontario's year-over-year earnings growth was the same as the national average, after being below the average since October 2010.

Earnings in New Brunswick edged down 0.2% to $803. Average weekly earnings in the province have been on the decline since peaking at $817 in August 2012.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment decreased by 22,100 in March after edging up by 2,900 in February.

In March, the number of payroll employees declined most notably in 'other services' such as repair and maintenance and personal and laundry services; professional, scientific and technical services; public administration; and health care and social assistance. These losses were partly offset by increases in educational services and manufacturing.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of non-farm payroll employees rose by 180,900, or 1.2%.

Among all sectors, construction posted the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment, at 5.8%, followed by real estate and rental and leasing (+4.4%), as well as mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (+3.7%). The most notable declines were in information and cultural industries (-3.5%) and in forestry, logging and support (-3.3%).


  Note to readers

The Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) is produced by the combination of a census of payroll deductions, provided by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the results of the Business Payrolls Survey, which collects data from a sample of 15,000 establishments. Its key objective 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 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.

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 April will be released on June 27.

Contact information

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 Thao Sohn (613-951-2297; thao.sohn@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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