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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, April 2014

Released: 2014-06-26

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $932 in April, up 0.5% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings rose 3.3%.

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 3.3% increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to April 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 April, up slightly from the average of 32.8 hours observed 12 months earlier.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Among the 10 largest industrial sectors, only construction outpaced the national year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, April 2013 to April 2014 - Description and data table
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, April 2013 to April 2014

Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, April 2013 to April 2014 - Description and data table

Earnings in construction rose 4.1% compared with 12 months earlier to $1,209. However, all the increases occurred between July and October 2013. Year-over-year gains were observed among most industries within this sector, led by residential and non-residential building construction.

Average weekly earnings in public administration were also $1,209, up 3.3% compared with 12 months earlier, the same growth rate as the national average. Most of the growth occurred between January and April and notable gains were observed in federal protective services as well as provincial protective services.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in retail trade increased 3.3% to $539 in April, with notable earnings growth in clothing and clothing accessories stores.

From a recent high of $1,007 in April 2013, weekly earnings in educational services declined by 3.0% to $977 in April. Most of these declines occurred between August and December 2013. The largest year-over-year declines were in universities as well as elementary and secondary schools.

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 seven provinces, led by Manitoba.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, April 2013 to April 2014 - Description and data table
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, April 2013 to April 2014

Chart 3: Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, April 2013 to April 2014 - Description and data table

Average weekly earnings in Manitoba rose 5.0% to $871 in the 12 months to April. Earnings growth was observed in administrative and support services; transportation and warehousing as well as health care and social assistance.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, year-over-year average earnings grew by 4.5% to $986 in April, the second highest average earnings level in the country. Gains in this province were widespread over most sectors, led by public administration and manufacturing.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Nova Scotia were up 4.5% to $825 in April. Growth was spread across several industries, led by administrative and support services; wholesale trade; accommodation and food services as well as retail trade.

Weekly earnings in Alberta increased by 4.3% to $1,142 in the 12 months to April. Average earnings in this province remained the highest in the country. Most of the growth occurred between June and December 2013 and the earnings have been little changed since then. Gains in the province were widespread in most sectors, and were notable in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. Large earnings growth was also observed in transportation and warehousing as well as retail trade.

In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings increased 4.3% to $976 on a year-over-year basis. There was large growth in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; retail trade; transportation and warehousing as well as accommodation and food services.

Increases in the average earnings in the two largest provinces, Quebec and Ontario, were below the national average. Earnings growth in Quebec was 2.5% to $843 while it was 2.3% to $934 in Ontario.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment declined by 18,500 in April, following a 27,700 increase in March. The largest declines in April were in manufacturing; public administration; and construction. At the same time, there was more payroll employment in educational services; wholesale trade; and health care and social assistance.

Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 115,700 or 0.8%, with the bulk of the growth occurring in July and August 2013.

Among all sectors, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+3.2%) posted the highest 12-month growth rate, followed by real estate and rental and leasing (+2.6%). Over the same period, employment declined in information and cultural industries (-3.9%) 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, 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 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 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 Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

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 May will be released on July 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 May Roos (613-951-6014; may.roos@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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