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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, December 2013

Released: 2014-02-27

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $933 in December, up 0.9% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, weekly earnings increased 2.9%.

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 2.9% increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to December 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 33.1 hours per week in December compared with 32.9 hours in November and 33.0 hours 12 months earlier.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in 4 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by wholesale trade and construction. At the same time, earnings declined in educational services.

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

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

In the 12 months to December, average weekly earnings in wholesale trade increased 7.4% to $1,139, with the largest gains among merchant wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies; miscellaneous merchants; as well as business-to-business electronic markets, and agents and brokers.

Weekly earnings in construction increased 6.3% to $1,239, with growth spread across all industries within this sector.

Compared with December 2012, earnings in professional, scientific, and technical services rose by 4.8% to $1,320, led by architectural, engineering and related services as well as scientific research and development services.

Average earnings in administrative and support services increased 3.4% to $769 compared with December 2012. Gains were spread across several industries, with the highest growth in office administrative services, and services to buildings and dwellings.

Earnings in educational services fell by 3.8% to $951 in the 12 months to December. Declines were most notable in elementary and secondary schools, and community colleges and CEGEPs. Earnings in educational services have trended downward since July 2013.

Average weekly earnings by province

Year-over-year earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in all provinces. Growth was above the national average in four provinces, led by Alberta.

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

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

Weekly earnings in Alberta rose 4.6% to $1,146 in the 12 months to December, led by gains in construction; wholesale trade; professional, scientific and technical services; and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings increased 3.8% to $969, with notable growth in health care and social assistance, construction and educational services.

Compared with December 2012, earnings in Saskatchewan rose by 3.6% to $966. Increases were spread across the largest sectors, including construction, manufacturing, as well as retail and wholesale trade.

Average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island were up 3.3% to $769, with the highest growth in professional, scientific and technical services; educational services; and health care and social assistance.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment fell by 16,400 in December. This followed a decrease of 5,400 in November. The largest declines in December were in educational services; information and cultural industries; administrative and support services; and public administration. These losses were partly offset by gains in health care and social assistance as well as finance and insurance.

Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 155,200, or 1.0%.

Among all sectors, real estate and rental and leasing posted the highest year-over-year growth rate in payroll employment at 7.4%. Employment in this sector has been on an upward trend throughout the year.

Employment growth was also notable in educational services (+2.6%), mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+2.6%) and accommodation and food services (+2.5%).

Since December 2012, employment has declined notably in utilities (-3.0%), information and cultural industries (-1.9%), 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, 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 monthly 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 historically 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 January will be released on March 31.

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 Andrew Fields (613-951-3551; andrew.fields@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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