CALGARY — Alberta continues to lead all Canadian provinces with highest average weekly earnings.
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in April in the province were $1,066.83, up 1.2 per cent from the previous month and an increase of 3.5 per cent from last year.
Across Canada, average weekly earnings were $896.63, up 1.0 per cent from the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, earnings increased by 3.1 per cent.
“The 3.1 per cent increase in earnings during the 12 months to April reflects a number of factors, including wage growth and changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience,” said the federal agency.
“Average hours worked per week also contributed to the increase in earnings. In April, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 33.0 hours per week, up from 32.9 in March. Compared to one year earlier, hours worked also increased from 32.9 hours. This increase follows five consecutive months of year-over-year declines.”
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average of 3.1 per cent in three of Canada’s largest industrial sectors: wholesale trade, construction and retail trade. In contrast, earnings growth in health care and social assistance declined, it said.
Average weekly earnings in wholesale trade increased 8.5 per cent to $1,096.42. In construction, weekly earnings increased 6.9 per cent to $1,141.62. In retail trade, one of the lowest-paid sectors on average, weekly earnings rose 4.4 per cent to $531.00, explained Statistics Canada.
Weekly earnings of payroll employees in health care and social assistance fell 1.2 per cent to $815.93.
From April 2011 to April 2012, the total number of non-farm payroll employees rose 1.4 per cent in Canada. Among all sectors, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction posted the highest growth rate at 4.4 per cent, followed by construction at 4.0 per cent.
Alberta had the highest year-over-year growth at 4.7 per cent.
“Given the deteriorating outlook for global economic growth and commodity prices, in particular oil prices, we expect more moderate growth in business payrolls and wages this year and next,” said Capital Economics in a commentary.