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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, September 2014

Released: 2014-11-27

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $942 in September, little changed from $939 the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings increased 3.4%.

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 3.4% increase in weekly earnings during the 12 months to September 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 September, unchanged from the previous month, but up from the average of 32.8 hours observed in September 2013.

Average weekly earnings by sector

From September 2013 to September 2014, average weekly earnings increased in 8 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, with above-average growth in manufacturing, accommodation and food services as well as wholesale trade.

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

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

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in manufacturing grew 5.4% to $1,067. Weekly earnings in this sector have been trending upward since the beginning of 2014. Gains in this sector were led by the chemical, machinery, transportation equipment and food manufacturing subsectors.

From a recent low of $354 in September 2013, weekly earnings in accommodation and food services were up 4.8% to $371 in September 2014, driven by gains in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places.

Average weekly earnings in wholesale trade increased 4.7% to $1,092 in the 12 months to September, with most of the gains occurring in the autumn of 2013. Year-over-year earnings growth was spread across most industries, led by personal and household goods merchant wholesalers.

In the 12 months to September, average weekly earnings were little changed in administrative and support services as well as educational services. However, there was a decline in average weekly earnings in educational services in British Columbia over the period (-13.9%), with all of the losses occurring since May. Note that a strike among public sector primary and secondary school teachers in British Columbia took place from June until the third week of September (see "Measuring the impact of labour disputes with SEPH" in the note to readers).

Average weekly earnings by province

Year over year, earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in every province in September. The highest earnings growth was in Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as New Brunswick, while Prince Edward Island had the lowest.

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

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

Average weekly earnings in Manitoba increased 5.4% to $871, with gains spread across most sectors. Earnings in this province have been trending upward since the autumn of 2013.

Despite little change since April, average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador increased 5.3% to $1,001 on a year-over-year basis. Gains were spread across most sectors, led by manufacturing, transportation and warehousing as well as mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in New Brunswick rose 5.2% to $841, with the largest growth in administrative and support services, educational services and manufacturing.

In Saskatchewan, weekly earnings grew 4.7% to $984 in September, reflecting an upward trend that began in October 2013. Growth was widespread across most sectors, led by finance and insurance; mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; as well as transportation and warehousing.

In the 12 months to September, weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island rose 1.8% to $773, the lowest growth rate among the provinces.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment was unchanged in September, following an increase of 14,500 the previous month. In September, employment gains in construction, health care and social assistance as well as real estate and rental and leasing were offset by declines in public administration, manufacturing as well as information and culture.

On a year-over-year basis, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 144,400 or 0.9%, with most of the gains occurring from April to August of this year.

Over the 12-month period, employment growth was highest in real estate and rental and leasing (+5.0%); mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+3.7%); and construction (+3.5%). At the same time, payroll employment declined in utilities (-2.2%) and information and culture (-2.1%).

Employment declines in educational services in British Columbia

In British Columbia, employment declined by 16,900 (-11.6%) in the educational services sector from August to September. The majority of this decline was within primary and secondary schools. This subsector was affected by a strike among public sector primary and secondary school teachers in British Columbia that started in June and continued until the third week of September (see "Measuring the impact of labour disputes with SEPH" in the note to readers).


  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.

Measuring the impact of labour disputes with SEPH

Employees involved in a labour dispute (that is, on strike or locked out) are not on the payroll deductions remittance (PD7) and are therefore not included in the SEPH estimates.

The survey is not designed to measure the specific impact of labour disputes on earnings, hours worked or total employment; however some of the impact can be reflected in the estimates. It is not possible to separate the impact of labour disputes from changes in the estimates due to other reasons.

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 October will be released on December 22.

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 Emmanuelle Bourbeau (613-951-3007; emmanuelle.bourbeau@statcan.gc.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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