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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, April 2015

Released: 2015-06-25

Average weekly earnings

$955.37

April 2015

2.5% 

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $955 in April, little changed from $954 the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings increased by 2.5%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings and average weekly hours

The increase in weekly earnings compared with April 2014 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 April, little changed from the previous month and up from the average of 32.9 hours a year earlier.

Average weekly earnings by sector

In the 12 months to April, average weekly earnings increased in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by wholesale trade and manufacturing. At the same time, earnings were little changed in administrative and support services; construction; educational services; and accommodation and food services.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, April 2015
Year-over-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, April 2015

Among wholesale trade employees, average weekly earnings rose 7.3% to $1,159 in the 12 months to April. Earnings growth was spread across most industries in this sector. The largest gains were among building material and supplies wholesalers, as well as machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in manufacturing grew 6.3% to $1,108, with all of the gains occurring since January. Earnings growth was spread throughout this sector, led by gains in the manufacturing of chemicals, machinery, and transportation equipment.

Average weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services increased 3.0% to $1,336 compared with April 2014, but earnings have been flat since December. Year-over-year gains were widespread, led by management, scientific and technical consulting services, as well as architectural, engineering and related services.

Earnings also increased in health care and social assistance (+1.8%), retail trade (+1.4%) and public administration (+1.0%).

Average weekly earnings by province

Year over year, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in nine provinces in April, with the highest growth in Quebec. At the same time, earnings were little changed in Saskatchewan.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, April 2015
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, April 2015

In the 12 months to April, average weekly earnings in Quebec were up 4.5% to $881, with most of the gains occurring since January. Earnings growth was widespread, with the largest gains in finance and insurance, transportation and warehousing, as well as professional, scientific and technical services.

Average weekly earnings in New Brunswick grew 3.7% to $860. Year over year, earnings increased in many sectors, led by gains in finance and insurance, as well as educational services.

In Prince Edward Island, weekly earnings increased 3.6% to $799 in the 12 months to April, with the gains spread across most sectors.

Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings in Ontario rose 3.3% to $965, led by gains in wholesale trade and manufacturing. Earnings in this province have been on an upward trend since November.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings increased 3.1% to $1,020 compared with 12 months earlier. Gains in this province were spread across most sectors.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll jobs grew by 16,400 in April, after little change in March. The largest gains in April were in educational services; health care and social assistance; information and cultural industries; as well as real estate and rental and leasing. At the same time, there were fewer payroll jobs in construction.

Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 216,000 or 1.4%. Over this period, employment growth was highest in real estate and rental and leasing (+3.8%), arts, entertainment and recreation (+3.4%) and accommodation and food services (+3.2%).

Payroll employment declined markedly in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-6.0%) in the 12 months to April. Employment in this sector has been on a downward trend since October (-7.6% or -17,800).



  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 facilitate 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 for the previous month have been revised. Users are encouraged to request and use the most up-to-date data for each month.

Next release

Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for May will be released on July 30.

Products

A summary table is available from the Browse by key resource module of our website. Under Summary tables, choose Subject then Labour.

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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