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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, October 2013

Released: 2013-12-23

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $918 in October, up 0.5% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, weekly earnings increased 1.4%.

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 1.4% increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to October 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 32.9 hours per week in October, down from 33.1 hours in October 2012.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings was above the national average in six of the largest industrial sectors, led by construction and administrative and support services.

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

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

In the 12 months to October, average weekly earnings in construction rose by 5.9% to $1,221, 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 4.4% in administrative and support services to $770. Growth was most notable in employment services and office administrative services.

Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings in retail trade increased 2.4% to $534. The largest gains were recorded in clothing and accessory stores; motor vehicle and parts dealers; and food and beverage stores. Earnings in retail trade have been on a slight upward trend since April.

Weekly earnings in wholesale trade rose 2.0% to $1,075, with all of the gains taking place from October 2012 to March 2013. Growth over the 12-month period was driven by merchant wholesalers in food and beverage and in machinery, equipment and supplies.

Average weekly earnings in education services declined by 1.9% to $966, with the decreases concentrated mainly in elementary and secondary schools, as well as in community colleges and CEGEPs.

Average weekly earnings by province

Year-over-year earnings growth of non-farm payroll employees was above the national average in six provinces, with the highest growth in Prince Edward Island. At the same time, earnings were little changed in British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

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

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

From a recent low of $731 in October 2012, average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island rose 4.7% to $765 in October 2013, with gains spread across a number of sectors. Earnings in the province have been on an upward trend since January.

In Alberta, average weekly earnings increased 3.2% to $1,126 in the 12 months to October. Year-over-year earnings grew in many sectors, led by gains in construction and administrative and support services.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador grew by 3.0% to $965, driven by gains in construction.

In the 12 months to October, earnings increased by 2.7% to $954 in Saskatchewan, with the most notable gains in wholesale trade, construction and retail trade.

Weekly earnings increased by 2.1% to $851 in Quebec and by 1.9% to $813 in Nova Scotia, with the gains spread across a number of sectors in both provinces.

Average weekly earnings in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Manitoba were relatively flat over the 12-month period.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 17,000 in October, following a decline of 10,400 in September. Several service industries posted employment increases in October, led by education, administrative and support services as well as arts, entertainment and recreation.

In the 12 months to October, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 169,500 or 1.1%.

Among all sectors, real estate and rental and leasing posted the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment at 4.7%, with most of the gains occurring since December 2012. Employment growth from October 2012 to October 2013 was also notable in accommodation and food services (+3.3%), construction (+3.2%) and education (+2.9%).

Since October 2012, employment has declined markedly in information and culture (-1.4%) and in manufacturing (-1.3%). Payroll employment in manufacturing has been on a slight downward trend since March.


  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, 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 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 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 November will be released on January 30, 2014.

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.

Contact information

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.

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