Payroll employment, earnings and hours, October 2016
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $954 in October, little changed from the previous month (-0.1%) and unchanged compared with 12 months earlier (0.0%).
In general, changes in weekly earnings reflect a number of factors, including wage growth; changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience; and average hours worked per week.
Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.6 hours per week in October, down from 32.8 hours in September and from 33.0 hours in October 2015. Average weekly hours have trended downward since the start of 2016.
In particular, average weekly hours among hourly paid employees have trended downward since the start of the year. Hourly paid employees account for about 60% of non-farm payroll employment. Average weekly hours for this group declined from 30.5 hours in October 2015 to 29.9 hours in October 2016.
Average weekly earnings by sector
In the 12 months to October, average weekly earnings increased in 3 of the 10 largest industrial sectors: retail trade, wholesale trade, and health care and social assistance. Over the same period, average earnings declined in accommodation and food services, administrative and support services, and public administration, while there was little change in the remaining large sectors.
Among retail trade employees, average weekly earnings were up 2.4% to $565 compared with October 2015. Earnings growth was most notable at general merchandise stores and motor vehicle and parts dealers.
In wholesale trade, average weekly earnings rose 2.2% to $1,149, partly due to the fact that earnings in this sector were relatively low in October 2015. The largest increases were for machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers and for building material and supplies wholesalers. At the same time, average earnings declined notably for food, beverage and tobacco wholesalers.
Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings in health care and social assistance increased 1.4% to $876 in October, driven by growth in ambulatory health care services such as offices of physicians, and in nursing and residential care facilities.
Average weekly earnings in the accommodation and food services sector fell 2.7% to $369 in the 12 months to October, with most of the decline occurring from January to April. The year-over-year loss was mostly due to decreases in average earnings at full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places. At the same time, employment in this industry increased by 3.3% (+31,200).
In administrative and support services, earnings declined 2.4% to $759, mainly the result of losses in employment services, such as agencies referring and placing applicants in employment. Average weekly earnings in administrative and support services have trended downward since March.
Average earnings in public administration were down 1.2% to $1,220, driven by declines in local, municipal and regional public administration.
Among the smaller industrial sectors, average weekly earnings in transportation and warehousing declined 4.5% to $1,003 in the 12 months to October. On the other hand, earnings for information and cultural industries increased 7.8% to $1,317 over the same period.
Average weekly earnings by province
Year over year, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in two provinces in October: New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. At the same time, earnings declined in Alberta and were little changed in the other provinces.
Average weekly earnings in New Brunswick rose 2.0% to $881 in the 12 months to October, with the growth spread across many sectors. The largest contributors were health care and social assistance as well as finance and insurance. On the other hand, earnings declined notably in transportation and warehousing. Average earnings in the province have been relatively stable since March 2016.
Compared with October 2015, average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island increased 1.4% to $827, with the largest growth in finance and insurance. Earnings in the province have been on a slight upward trend over the 12-month period.
In contrast, average weekly earnings in Alberta fell 2.6% to $1,106 in the 12 months to October, mainly due to a combination of employment and earnings decreases in many sectors. The sectors that contributed the most to the earnings decline were construction; transportation and warehousing; manufacturing; and professional, scientific and technical services. Over the same period, employment in the province declined by 3.6% (-73,500).
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
The number of non-farm payroll jobs declined by 33,600 (-0.2%) in October, partly offsetting the increase of 63,700 in September. The decreases were spread across most sectors, with the largest job losses in wholesale trade, construction, public administration, and "other services." At the same time, there were more payroll jobs in health care and social assistance.
Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of non-farm payroll employees increased by 137,600 or 0.9%. Over this period, the number of payroll jobs increased the most in health care and social assistance (+61,300 or +3.3%), accommodation and food services (+31,000 or +2.5%), public administration (+22,900 or +2.2%) and educational services (+22,800 or +1.8%).
Over the same period, the number of payroll jobs declined in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-19,100 or -9.3%), wholesale trade (-16,800 or -2.1%), construction (-16,600 or -1.7%) and "other services" (-11,300 or -2.1%).
Recent labour market developments
The pace of employment growth has been similar in both of Statistics Canada's monthly surveys with data on employment: the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and hours (SEPH) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS). In the 12 months to October, the LFS showed a growth rate of 0.7% among employees, while it was 0.9% for SEPH. During this period, both surveys have shown stronger employment growth in British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario and declines in employment in Alberta.
The two surveys provide complimentary perspectives on recent developments in the labour market. For example, in Alberta, the LFS data showed notable increases in the unemployment rate in recent months along with declines in full-time work, particularly among people aged 25 to 54. At the same time, data from SEPH highlighted the decreases in year-over-year average weekly earnings in Alberta as well as job losses across a range of goods-producing sectors, including mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction; construction; and manufacturing.
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, and the Business Payrolls Survey, which collects data from a sample of 15,000 establishments. Federal, provincial and territorial public administration data are collected from various administrative records provided by these levels of government. The key objective of the 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), the unemployed, and those 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. To better understand the conceptual differences between employment measures from the LFS and SEPH, refer to section 8 of the Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (). 72-203-G
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 for the "other employees" category, which includes piece-rate and commission-only employees.
Unless otherwise specified, 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.
Real-time CANSIM tables
Data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for November 2016 will be released on January 26, 2017.
A summary table is also available.
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 and Job Vacancy Statistics is available in the Guide to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (72-203-G).
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; email@example.com), Labour Statistics Division.
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