Wages up 2% year-over-year and we’re working less

by Steve Randall31 Jan 2019

The average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were little changed in November 2018 from the previous month according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

But on an annual basis, wages were up 2% to $1,012, with the increase driven by several factors including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment, and hours worked.

The average worker worked 32.8 hours per week, down slightly from the 33.0 hours worked in November 2017.

There were gains in 6 of the 10 main industrial sectors in the 12 months to November 2018, led by retail trade (up 7% to $618); accommodation and food services (up 5.9% to $415); and administrative and support services (up 4.8% to $798).

There was little change for those working in wholesale trade, educational services, public administration, and professional, scientific and technical services.

Payroll construction workers saw a 2.2% increase to $1,269, mainly due to higher earnings by those in heavy and civil engineering construction.

Average weekly wages by province
British Columbia led 8 provinces in posting higher average weekly earnings year-over-year:

  • British Columbia up 3.2% to $983;
  • Ontario up 2.5% to $1,035;
  • Manitoba up 2.5% to $941;
  • Nova Scotia up 2.2% to $890;
  • Saskatchewan up 1.9% to $1,038;
  • Prince Edward Island up 1.8% to $853;
  • New Brunswick up 1.6% to $924;
  • Quebec up 1.1% to $935.

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