Canada October Employment, Earnings and Hours Report (Text)

The following is the text of Canada’s employment, earnings, and hours report for October released by Statistics Canada.

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $909 in October, up 0.9% from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 2.8%.

The 2.8% increase in earnings during the 12 months to October reflects a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience, as well as average hours worked per week. In October, the average hours worked per week was 33.2, up from 33.1 the month before and 33.0 in October 2011.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in four of the largest industrial sectors: accommodation and food services; construction; retail trade; and public administration.

Average weekly earnings in accommodation and food services increased 5.8% to $372, with gains spread across all industries within the sector. Payroll earnings in this sector were the lowest among all sectors, partly because it had the lowest average weekly hours.

Weekly earnings in construction rose 4.8% to $1,143 in the 12 months to October. The most notable growth occurred in the construction of non-residential buildings and highways, streets and bridges.

In retail trade, weekly earnings rose 3.4% to $528, led by growth in general merchandise stores; health and personal care stores; and motor vehicle and parts dealers.

Average weekly earnings in public administration increased 3.3% to $1,161. Growth was most notable in local, municipal and regional public administration, followed by provincial and territorial public administration.

Average weekly earnings up in every province

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in every province in the 12 months to October. The largest growth rates were in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings were $943 in October, up 4.7% from 12 months earlier, and the highest provincial year-over-year growth rate for the fifth consecutive month. Increases were most notable in the goods sector. Weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador were among the highest in the country.

In Nova Scotia, average weekly earnings rose 4.7% to $805. Despite a year-over-year growth rate above the national average since August, earnings in this province continue to be among the lowest.

Average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan increased 4.6% to $932 in the 12 months to October. Weekly earnings in this province have been above the national average since August 2011. Earnings have been influenced by gains in four sectors: mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction; construction; professional, scientific and technical services; and educational services.

Alberta continued to have the highest earnings in the country, at $1,098, which was 4.3% above the level in October 2011.

Weekly earnings in Ontario grew 1.6% to $917. Year-over-year growth in Ontario has been below the national average since October 2010.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

Total non-farm payroll employment edged down 10,200 in October, following a decline of 36,100 the previous month.

In October, the number of payroll employees declined most notably in educational services; retail trade; and public administration. The largest increases were in manufacturing and construction.

On a year-over-year basis, payroll employment rose 264,700 (+1.8%), with the bulk of these gains occurring between February and August.

Among all sectors, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction continued to post the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment, at 8.1% in October. This was followed by construction (+5.1%) and transportation and warehousing (+3.4%).

Note to readers

The Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH) is a business census of non-farm payroll employees. Its key objective is to provide a monthly portrait of the level of earnings, the number of jobs and hours worked by detailed industry at the national, provincial and territorial level.

Estimates of average weekly earnings and hours are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling variability. 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 monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). The LFS is a 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 facilitates comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends ( .

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

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