Payroll employment, earnings and hours, August 2017
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $975 in August, up 0.9% from the previous month. Compared with August 2016, earnings increased 1.7%.
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 32.8 hours per week in August, up slightly from 32.7 hours in both the previous month and August 2016.
Average weekly earnings by sector
Compared with August 2016, average weekly earnings increased in 5 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by wholesale trade. At the same time, earnings declined in retail trade and manufacturing, while they were little changed in public administration and in construction, and were virtually unchanged in professional, scientific and technical services.
Average weekly earnings in wholesale trade increased 5.6% to $1,214, with most of the growth occurring in the first quarter of 2017. On a year-over-year basis, wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies contributed the most to the rise. At the same time, earnings declined notably for wholesalers of personal and household goods. Most of the year-over-year increase in this sector was driven by Ontario.
In accommodation and food services, average earnings rose 3.7% to $385 per week. British Columbia and Ontario contributed the most to the increase. Earnings in this sector have been on an upward trend since February 2017, driven by gains in full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places.
Average weekly earnings in administrative and support services grew 3.5% to $787, partly due to the fact that earnings were relatively low in August 2016. Gains were spread across many industries, notably in investigation and security services and in employment services. Among the provinces, Ontario and British Columbia contributed the most to the rise.
In health care and social assistance, earnings rose 2.5% to an average of $890 per week, with most of the increase occurring from September 2016 to February 2017. The rise in earnings was driven by gains in hospitals and social assistance. Quebec contributed the most to the earnings growth in this sector.
For educational services employees, average earnings increased 2.0% to $1,042, mainly the result of gains in elementary and secondary schools. Notable increases were observed in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia.
In contrast, average weekly earnings in retail trade fell 1.9% to $552, most notably in general merchandise stores. The decline was spread across the majority of the provinces.
Average weekly earnings also fell in manufacturing, down 1.8% to $1,074, driven by declines in Ontario. The largest decreases were in the manufacturing of chemical, plastics and rubber products, and transportation equipment. Earnings in manufacturing have been on a downward trend since January 2017.
Among the smaller industrial sectors, average earnings in transportation and warehousing rose 6.9% to $1,075 per week, one of the largest contributors to the overall increase of 1.7%. The growth was spread across most subsectors and all provinces. Earnings in this sector have trended upward since February 2017.
Average weekly earnings by province
In the 12 months to August, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in nine provinces, led by Quebec. Over the same period, earnings were virtually unchanged in Prince Edward Island.
In Quebec, average weekly earnings rose 3.0% to $905, with health care and social assistance, construction, and finance and insurance contributing the most to the increase.
Average weekly earnings in Nova Scotia grew 2.5% to $870. Health care and social assistance and construction contributed the most to the rise. At the same time, earnings declined notably in retail trade.
Average earnings in Saskatchewan increased 2.5% to $1,011 per week, led by transportation and warehousing and by educational services.
In British Columbia, average weekly earnings were up 2.2% to $940. Growth was spread across most sectors, and the largest contributors were educational services, administrative and support services, and transportation and warehousing.
Earnings in New Brunswick increased 2.1% to $892, with notable gains in transportation and warehousing, manufacturing, and finance and insurance.
For payroll employees in Manitoba, average weekly earnings rose 1.9% to $907, with the largest increases occurring in transportation and warehousing and in wholesale trade.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, average earnings grew 1.7% to $1,031, with all of the gains occurring from August 2016 to February 2017. Educational services and wholesale trade contributed the most to the rise.
Earnings in Ontario were up 1.1% to an average of $986 per week, boosted by gains in wholesale trade, and in transportation and warehousing. At the same time, there were declines in manufacturing and in retail trade. Earnings in the province have been relatively stable since the start of 2017.
In Alberta, average weekly earnings increased 1.1% to $1,134, with notable gains in real estate and rental and leasing, other services, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade. In contrast, there were also declines in many large sectors, markedly in professional, scientific and technical services and in construction. In the 12 months to August, employment in the high-paying mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector increased by 8,100 (+8.3%), contributing to the overall provincial earnings growth.
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
The number of non-farm payroll jobs rose by 38,900 (+0.2%) from July. The number of payroll employees increased in several sectors, most notably accommodation and food services, retail trade, manufacturing, and health care and social assistance. At the same time, the number of payroll jobs declined in information and cultural industries.
Compared with August 2016, the number of payroll employees rose by 379,000 (+2.4%). Increases were observed across the majority of the sectors, led by manufacturing (+39,600 or +2.7%) and construction (+38,800 or +4.0%). The number of payroll jobs also increased notably in health care and social assistance (+35,900 or +1.9%), accommodation and food services (+35,600 or +2.8%), professional, scientific and technical services (+34,300 or +4.0%) and retail trade (+32,700 or +1.7%).
Spotlight on SEPH and LFS: Manufacturing
In the 12 months to August, 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).
During this period, both surveys showed similar trends in employment in manufacturing. In the SEPH, the number of payroll employees in this sector grew 2.7% and has been on an upward trend since April, while average weekly earnings were down 1.8%. At the same time, the LFS showed similar growth in total employment in this sector (+2.3%), which has been on an upward trend since February 2017.
In celebration of the country's 150th birthday, Statistics Canada is presenting snapshots from our rich statistical history.
The evolution of employment in educational services and postsecondary institutions
At the beginning of the 20th century, enrollment in primary and secondary education was becoming more prevalent in Canada, spurred by the introduction of legislation for mandatory school attendance. However, pursuing further education in a postsecondary institution was still uncommon. In 1920, there were 23,000 full-time enrollments in postsecondary institutions. By 1969, full-time enrollments had increased to 437,000.
In 1983, the educational services sector accounted for 8.1% of all employees (751,000). Nearly one-third (32.7%) were employed in postsecondary institutions, while elementary and secondary schools accounted for the majority of employment. The proportion of payroll employees in the sector increased from 1989 to 1993, before declining until 2001. The share of employment in educational services has remained relatively stable since, hovering close to 8%. In 2016, the sector comprised 1.25 million employees. At the same time, the share of employees in postsecondary institutions varied throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, reaching a low of 31.9% in the late 1990s.
Variation in the employment share of primary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions may reflect a number of factors, including the accessibility of education, economic conditions, and the number of children and youth of school and postsecondary age. For instance, the number of 15- to 24-year-olds had been in decline since the mid-1980s, reflecting the smaller demographic weight of those born from 1966 to 1971. With the larger subsequent cohort (born from 1972 to 1992), and the shift towards a knowledge-based economy, from the late 1990s both postsecondary enrollments as well as the share of postsecondary employees within the educational services sector started to rise again. The proportion of employees working in postsecondary institutions rose to its highest rate on record at 35.2% in 2010 and has remained relatively stable since. See chart Proportion of payroll employees in educational services and in postsecondary institutions, Canada, 1983 to 2016.
Sources: Canadian Compulsory School Laws and their Impact on Educational Attainment and Future Earnings (), tables W307-339 and W340-438 in Historical Statistics of Canada ( 11F0019M), and 11-516-XCANSIM tables 281-0005, 281-0024, 477-0019 and 051-0001.
Sustainable Development Goals
On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.
The Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours is an example of how Statistics Canada supports the reporting on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This release will be used in helping to measure the following goals:
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 September will be released on November 30.
A summary table is also available.
Job Vacancy Statistics (5202) from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours for July 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 Gordon Song (613-793-2392; gordon.song@canada) or Client Services (toll-free: 1-866-873-8788; email@example.com), Labour Statistics Division.
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