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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, August 2014

Released: 2014-10-30

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $943 in August, little changed from $942 the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings increased 3.5%.

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 3.5% increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to August 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 August, unchanged from the previous month but up from the weekly average of 32.8 hours observed in August 2013.

Average weekly earnings by sector

In the 12 months to August, average weekly earnings increased in 8 of the 10 largest industrial sectors while earnings in the other 2 sectors were little changed.

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

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

Compared with August 2013, average weekly earnings in retail trade increased 3.7% to $551. Earnings growth was widespread across most industries in this sector, led by clothing and clothing accessories stores as well as electronics and appliance stores. At the same time, there was a decline in food and beverage stores.

Average weekly earnings in accommodation and food services rose 3.4% to $374 in the 12 months to August, led by earnings growth in traveller accommodation.

In wholesale trade, average weekly earnings were $1,089 in August, up 3.3% compared with August 2013. The largest growth in earnings was in building material and supplies merchant wholesalers as well as personal and household goods merchant wholesalers.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in construction were up 3.0% to $1,233, although earnings in this sector have been relatively stable since October 2013. Year-over-year earnings growth in this sector was widespread, led by building finishing contractors as well as foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors.

Average weekly earnings were little changed in administrative and support services as well as educational services in the 12 months to August.

Among the smaller industrial sectors, the highest year-over-year earnings growth was in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+13.4% to $2,115) as well as finance and insurance (+12.4% to $1,204).

Average weekly earnings by province

Year over year, earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in all provinces in August. The highest earnings growth was in Manitoba and Alberta, while Ontario and Quebec had the lowest.

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

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

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Manitoba increased 5.3% to $875. Weekly earnings in the province have trended upwards since January. Earnings growth was largest in health care and social assistance as well as finance and insurance.

Average weekly earnings in Alberta were up 5.1% to $1,165 from 12 months earlier. Growth was widespread across most sectors, led by finance and insurance; mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; manufacturing; and retail trade.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador rose 4.7% to $989, with the largest growth in transportation and warehousing; manufacturing; and public administration.

Average weekly earnings in Canada's two largest provinces had the lowest year-over-year growth. Compared with August 2013, average weekly earnings increased 2.4% to $947 in Ontario while Quebec had an increase of 2.1% to $847.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 11,000 in August, following the July increase of 35,100. The largest employment gains in August were in professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; and construction. These gains were partly offset by declines in transportation and warehousing as well as 'other services.'

On a year-over-year basis, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 130,800 or 0.8%, with all of the gains occurring since April.

Over the 12-month period, employment growth was highest in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+3.5%); real estate and rental and leasing (+3.3%); professional, scientific and technical services (+2.9%); and construction (+2.8%). At the same time, payroll employment declined in utilities (-1.5%) and information and cultural industries (-0.9%).


  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. The key objective of SEPH 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 September will be released on November 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 May Roos (613-951-6014; may.roos@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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