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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, May 2014

Released: 2014-07-31

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $937 in May, up 0.6% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings increased 2.6%.

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 2.6% increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to May 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 in May, little changed from the average of 32.9 hours observed the previous month and unchanged from 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 health care and social assistance. 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, May 2013 to May 2014 - Description and data table
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, May 2013 to May 2014

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

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in health care and social assistance increased 4.9% to $858 in May. Most of the growth occurred between August and November 2013. The largest year-over-year gains were in hospitals and social assistance.

Earnings in manufacturing were up 3.4% to $1,053, with growth spread across most industries in the sector.

In the 12 months to May, average weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services increased 3.3% to $1,311. Most gains were in scientific research and development services as well as architectural, engineering and related services.

Average weekly earnings in wholesale trade rose 3.2% to $1,119 in the 12 months to May. Growth was most notable in personal and household goods merchant wholesalers as well as miscellaneous merchant wholesalers.

Earnings in educational services declined 1.5% to $981 on a year-over-year basis. Most of the decline was observed between August and December 2013. Year-over-year declines were widespread across the sector.

Average weekly earnings by province

Year-over-year earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in all provinces. The highest earnings growth was in Newfoundland and Labrador, while Prince Edward Island had the lowest.

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

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

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador grew 6.0% to $994, led by gains in manufacturing, educational services as well as health care and social assistance.

In Manitoba, average weekly earnings were up 4.2% to $863 in the 12 months to May. Growth was widespread across most sectors, led by health care and social assistance as well as administrative and support services.

Average weekly earnings in Nova Scotia increased 3.8% to $827 on a year-over-year basis. The highest growth was in educational services as well as health care and social assistance.

In Prince Edward Island, weekly earnings increased 1.4% to $766 in May, the first time since November 2013 that year-over-year growth has been below 2%. Earnings have hovered around the same level in the province since December 2013.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 43,100 in May, following a decline of 10,000 in April. The largest increases in May were in construction, accommodation and food services, as well as transportation and warehousing. At the same time, there were fewer workers in information and cultural industries, public administration, as well as forestry, logging and support.

Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 158,500 or 1.0%. In addition to the gains in May, the remainder of the growth over this period occurred in the summer of 2013.

Among all sectors, the highest 12-month growth rate was in real estate and rental and leasing (+3.2%), followed closely by administrative and support services (+2.9%). Payroll employment growth was 2.4% in transportation and warehousing, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction as well as construction.

Compared with May 2013, payroll employment declined notably in information and culture (-4.5%) and manufacturing (-1.3%).


  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 June will be released on August 28.

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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