Ottawa -- In August 2012, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $907.19, up 0.4% from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada's latest report on Employment, Earnings and Hours. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 3.6%.
The 3.6% earnings' increase during the 12 months to August reflects 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. In August, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.1 hours per week, up from 33.0 the month before and 32.9 in August 2011.
Average weekly earnings by sector
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average of 3.6% in three of the largest industrial sectors: professional, scientific and technical services; accommodation and food services; and construction. Earnings in administrative and support services declined between August 2011 and August 2012.
Weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services rose 7.4% to $1,273.60, with gains in almost all industries within the sector.
Weekly earnings in accommodation and food services increased 5.0% to $374.54 in the 12 months to August. Growth was most notable in special food services, limited-service eating places and traveller accommodation. Payroll earnings in this sector were the lowest among all sectors, partly because it had the lowest weekly hours.
In construction, weekly earnings rose 4.4% to $1,144.43, with notable growth in non-residential building construction; highway, street and bridge construction; and building finishing contracting.
Average weekly earnings in administrative and support services declined 3.2% to $724.03, mostly in employment services.
Average weekly earnings up in every province
Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in every province in the 12 months to August. Growth was notably above the national average in Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings were $942.31 in August, up 8.1% from 12 months earlier. This was the third consecutive year-over-year increase above 6%. Weekly earnings in the province are among the highest in the country.
In Saskatchewan, average weekly earnings increased 6.1% in the 12 months to August, to $938.57, and were also among the highest in the country. Earnings in the province have been higher than the national average since August 2011.
Average weekly earnings in Prince Edward Island were $761.13 in August, up 5.0% compared with 12 months earlier. Year-over-year increases in earnings for this province have been at or above the national average since the start of 2012.
In Quebec, average weekly earnings amounted to $829.55 in August, up 4.5% from 12 months earlier.
Average weekly earnings remained the highest of all provinces in Alberta, at $1,084.26 in August. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased 3.2% in the province, just under the national average.
Weekly earnings in Ontario grew 3.0% to $919.05, the fourth-highest earnings level in Canada. 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 rose by 45,500 between July and August, the sixth consecutive monthly increase.
In August, payroll employment increased in most sectors, including educational services; public administration; manufacturing; health care and social assistance; and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction.
On a year-over-year basis, payroll employment rose by 316,000 (+2.1%), with most of these gains occurring since February 2012 (+285,100).
Among all sectors, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction continued to post the highest 12-month growth rate in payroll employment, at 10.7% in August. It was followed by construction (+5.3%); accommodation and food services (+3.2%); professional, scientific and technical services (+2.7%); and transportation and warehousing (+2.7%).