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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, November 2013

Released: 2014-01-30

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $928 in November, up 0.9% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, weekly earnings increased 2.5%.

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 2.5% increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to November 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 32.8 hours per week in November, unchanged from the month before, but down from 33.1 hours in November 2012.

Average weekly earnings by sector

From November 2012 to November 2013, average weekly earnings were above the national average in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by wholesale trade and health care and social assistance.

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

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

Average weekly earnings in wholesale trade increased 4.1% to $1,100 in the 12 months to November, with gains among most industries in this sector.

Compared with November 2012, earnings in health care and social assistance rose by 3.9% to $858, led by growth in hospitals and social assistance.

Weekly earnings in administrative and support services increased 3.3% to $749, with notable growth in business support services as well as investigation and security services.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average earnings in construction rose by 3.0% to $1,221. Gains were highest in heavy and civil engineering construction.

Earnings in accommodation and food services edged down compared with November 2012 to $367, a result of declines in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places.

Average weekly earnings by province

Year-over-year earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in eight provinces, with the highest growth in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Earnings declined in Quebec over the same period, while they were little changed in Nova Scotia.

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

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

Weekly earnings in Saskatchewan rose 4.7% to $967 in the 12 months to November, led by gains in manufacturing, construction, retail trade and educational services. Weekly earnings in this province have been above the national average since August 2011.

In Alberta, average weekly earnings increased 3.7% to $1,131, with growth across most sectors. In November, earnings in this province were at least 17% higher than those of any other province.

Compared with November 2012, earnings in Quebec fell 0.6% to $831. Declines were spread across five of the largest industrial sectors, led by accommodation and food services as well as construction. These losses were partially offset by increased earnings in wholesale trade and health care and social assistance.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment fell by 27,600 in November, following an increase of 19,600 in October. Several service industries had fewer employees in November, notably accommodation and food services and retail trade.

In the 12 months to November, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 118,300, or 0.8%.

Among all sectors, real estate and rental and leasing posted the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment at 5.2%. Growth in this sector has been trending upward since December 2012. Employment growth from November 2012 to November 2013 was also notable in educational services (+3.3%), construction (+3.2%) and accommodation and food services (+2.3%).

Since November 2012, employment has declined notably in utilities (-4.2%), information and cultural industries (-1.7%) and manufacturing (-1.6%).


  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. 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.

Revisions

With the March 31 release of January data, SEPH will be incorporating an additional method in assigning 2012 NAICS codes to businesses. The impact of this change will be seen in a reduction of the current payroll employment level in the unclassified businesses category, while corresponding increases will be seen within various classified industries. This method will be applied back to 2008.

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 data will be revised back to 2001.

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 2013 will be released on February 27.

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 Jason Gilmore (613-951-7118; jason.gilmore@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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