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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, October 2015

Released: 2015-12-22

Average weekly earnings

$958.50

October 2015

1.9% 

(12-month change)

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $959 in October, up 0.5% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, average weekly earnings increased by 1.9%.

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 October 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 33.0 hours per week in October, unchanged from both the previous month and the same month a year earlier.

Average weekly earnings by sector

In the 12 months to October, average weekly earnings increased in 6 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by administrative and support services as well as manufacturing. At the same time, earnings declined in construction and were little changed in retail trade, health care and social assistance, as well as accommodation and food services.

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

Compared with October 2014, weekly earnings in administrative and support services increased 5.0% to $802. The largest gains were among employment services, services to buildings and dwellings, as well as business support services.

Average weekly earnings in manufacturing rose 4.9% to $1,101. Growth was widespread, with notable earnings gains in the manufacturing of plastics and rubber products, chemicals, and food.

Earnings in professional, scientific and technical services were up 4.5% to $1,373 in the 12 months to October. Gains were observed in most industries, particularly in computer systems and related services.

In wholesale trade, average weekly earnings rose 4.1% to $1,143 compared with 12 months earlier. Most of this growth was driven by gains in personal and household goods wholesalers; food, beverage and tobacco wholesalers; as well as building materials and supplies wholesalers. At the same time, earnings declined notably among motor vehicle and parts and accessories wholesalers.

Average weekly earnings in educational services increased 3.9% to $1,021, with the largest gains in universities as well as elementary and secondary schools.

In the 12 months to October, average weekly earnings in public administration increased 2.2% to $1,230, with most of the gains occurring in the first quarter of 2015. Gains in this sector were led by local, municipal and regional public administration.

On the other hand, earnings in construction declined 2.9% to $1,200 in the 12 months to October. The declines were mainly the result of fewer hours worked in this sector as well as employment losses in the high-paying utility system construction industry.

Among the smaller industrial sectors, earnings in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector fell 4.0% to $1,983.

Average weekly earnings by province

Year over year, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in nine provinces in October, with the highest growth in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Over the same period, earnings declined in Alberta.

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

In Prince Edward Island, earnings rose 3.6% to $811. Earnings increased in many sectors, led by gains in professional, scientific and technical services as well as manufacturing.

Compared with October 2014, average weekly earnings in New Brunswick were up 3.4% to $866. Earnings growth was led by transportation and warehousing, finance and insurance, construction, as well as professional, scientific and technical services.

Average weekly earnings in Quebec increased 3.1% to $885. The largest gains were in finance and insurance, educational services, wholesale trade and manufacturing.

In the 12 months to October, average weekly earnings in Ontario increased 3.0% to $969. Gains were widespread, with the highest growth in information and cultural industries; administrative and support services; professional, scientific and technical services; as well as manufacturing. Most of the increase was observed from November to March.

In Alberta, earnings declined 1.8% to $1,145. The declines were spread across many sectors, most notably in construction.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll jobs increased by 23,900 in October, following an increase of 51,700 in September. The largest gains were in health care and social assistance, retail trade, and arts, entertainment and recreation. At the same time, there were fewer payroll jobs in administrative and support services, manufacturing, as well as mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction.

Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 126,500 or 0.8%. Over this period, arts, entertainment and recreation had the highest rate of employment growth (+9.8% or +25,000).

In the 12 months to October, the number of payroll jobs increased the most in health care and social assistance (+44,500 or +2.5%), as well as accommodation and food services (+32,200 or +2.7%). At the same time, employment declined notably in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-32,200 or -13.7%), mainly in support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction (-27,500 or -25.9%).

Chart 4  Chart 4: Payroll employment in support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction,¹ seasonally adjusted
Payroll employment in support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction,¹ seasonally adjusted



  Note to readers

The Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) is produced by a combination of a census of approximately one million payroll deductions provided by the Canada Revenue Agency, as well as 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.

Real-time CANSIM tables

Real-time CANSIM tables 281-8023, 281-8026, 281-8047 and 281-8063 will be updated on January 8, 2016. For more information, consult the document Real-time CANSIM tables.

Next release

Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for November 2015 will be released on January 28, 2016.

Products

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

Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for September are now available in CANSIM.

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; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Emmanuelle Bourbeau (613-951-3007; emmanuelle.bourbeau@canada.ca), Labour Statistics Division.

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