Payroll employment, earnings and hours, September 2013

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Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $918 in September, little changed from $915 the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, weekly earnings increased 1.9%.

Chart 1 
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours
Column clustered chart – Chart 1: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours, from September 2008 to September 2013

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

CSV version of chart 1

The 1.9% increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to September reflected a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience, as well as average hours worked per week. Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.0 hours per week in September, little changed from the average of 33.1 hours observed 12 months earlier.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in three of the largest industrial sectors, led by construction.

Chart 2 
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, September 2012 to September 2013
Bar clustered chart – Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, September 2012 to September 2013

Chart description: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, September 2012 to September 2013

CSV version of chart 2

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in construction increased 6.7% to $1,220 in September, with gains spread across all industries in this sector. Earnings in construction have been on an upward trend since the summer of 2011.

Average weekly earnings grew by 2.7% in professional, scientific and technical services to $1,291. Growth was most notable in specialized design services; management, scientific and technical consulting services; and in architectural, engineering and related services.

In the 12 months to September, weekly earnings in retail trade rose by 2.3% to $537. All the gains occurred since April 2013, mostly in food and beverage stores as well as clothing and clothing accessories stores.

Average weekly earnings by province

Year-over-year earnings of non-farm payroll employees grew in eight provinces, with the growth above the national average in Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Alberta. At the same time, earnings in Manitoba and New Brunswick were little changed.

Chart 3 
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, September 2012 to September 2013
Bar clustered chart – Chart 3: Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, September 2012 to September 2013

Chart description: Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, September 2012 to September 2013

CSV version of chart 3

Average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island rose 3.5% to $771, with gains spread across a number of sectors. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since January 2013.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan grew by 2.9% to $953. The largest gains were in "other services"; administrative and support services; and construction. The growth rate for earnings in this province has been higher than the national average since February 2013.

In Alberta, average weekly earnings increased 2.6% to $1,115 in the 12 months to September. Year-over-year earnings grew in many sectors, led by construction and wholesale trade.

Average weekly earnings in New Brunswick and Manitoba have been relatively flat over the 12-month period.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Following an increase of 65,700 in August, total non-farm payroll employment fell by 30,200 in September. The largest declines were in accommodation and food services, finance and insurance services and in "other services".

In the 12 months to September, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 116,400 or 0.8%, with all of the gains occurring in July and August.

Among all sectors, real estate and rental and leasing posted the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment at 4.9%, with most of the gains occurring since December. Employment growth rates from September 2012 to September 2013 were also notable in construction (+3.6%) and in accommodation and food services (+3.5%).

Since September 2012, employment has declined markedly in information and culture (-4.0%), with the bulk of the losses occurring at the beginning of the period. There was also a notable decline in payroll employment in manufacturing (-1.1%), with all of the losses taking place from March to September.

Note to readers

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

Data on the education sector

Changes in payroll employment in education during the summer months can be affected by changes in payment schedules and school-year calendars. Month-to-month and year-over-year movements should therefore be interpreted with caution, and more attention given to long-term trends.

Available in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table281-0023, CANSIM table281-0024, CANSIM table281-0026, CANSIM table281-0027, CANSIM table281-0029, CANSIM table281-0030, CANSIM table281-0032, CANSIM table281-0033, CANSIM table281-0035 to 281-0039, CANSIM table281-0041 to 281-0049 and CANSIM table281-0063.

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 October will be released on December 23.

More information about the concepts and use of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours is available online in The Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (Catalogue number72-203-G), from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Emmanuelle Bourbeau (613-951-3007; emmanuelle.bourbeau@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.