../Morning Post
Posted April 1 , 2010
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Human Resources

Payroll employment, earnings and hours - January 2010

In January, total hours worked by payroll employees increased by 0.3%. At the same time, non-farm payroll employment was virtually unchanged.

January's most notable job gains were in mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction; construction; finance; transportation and warehousing; and health care. These gains were offset by losses primarily in the service sector, with the largest declines in public administration; arts, entertainment and recreation; educational services and "other services."

Number of jobs rose in several industries since the summer

In January, payroll employment in the construction sector increased by 2,500. Between August 2009 and January 2010, employment in this sector has steadily increased by 20,100 (+2.5%). The largest gains during this period occurred in building equipment contractors and foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors. Building material and supplies dealers, an industry with ties to construction, also posted modest job gains (+2,900) since August.

Payroll employment in finance industries has continued on an upward trend. Since August 2009, it has increased by 15,700 (+2.3%), with the largest gains in depository credit intermediation (banks and credit unions). Payroll employment was also up in non-depository credit intermediation (credit card and sales financing issuers).

In employment services, which includes placement agencies, temporary services and human resource management services, payroll employment has increased by 4,100 since August. Payroll employment also rose by 3,500 during this time in services to buildings and dwellings.

Since August 2009, there has been a gradual increase of 4,800 payroll jobs in support activities for mining, oil and gas extraction.

Continued gains in health care

Payroll employment in health care increased by 1,600 in January. Since August 2009, payroll employment has risen by 36,700 (+2.8%) in this sector, with most of the gains in offices of physicians, dentists and other health care practitioners; out-patient care centres; and home health care services. At the same time, there were fewer jobs in hospitals and nursing care facilities.

Stability in manufacturing since August

There was virtually no change in payroll employment in manufacturing in January. In recent months, the pace of job losses in manufacturing has slowed considerably. Between August 2009 and January 2010, manufacturing jobs have declined by an average of 1,300 per month. This was well below the average monthly decline of 18,000 that occurred between August 2008 and August 2009.

Payroll employment levels have remained stable in motor vehicle assembly, motor vehicle parts as well as body and trailer manufacturing since August 2009.

Manufacturing industries experiencing notable declines in payroll employment since August 2009 include: meat product; pulp, paper and paperboard mills; and printing and related support activities.

During the same period, manufacturing industries with notable gains in employment include: seafood product preparation and packaging; beverage; petroleum and coal product; and plastic product manufacturing.

Growth in year-over-year average weekly earnings

Average weekly earnings including overtime of payroll employees rose to $834.47 in January, up 2.1% from January 2009. This was similar to year-over-year increases seen in early 2009.

Among Canada's largest industrial sectors, average weekly earnings rose in educational services (+5.3%); public administration (+4.6%); health care and social assistance (+4.1%); accommodation and food services (+4.0%); and manufacturing (+2.6%).

During the same 12-month period, average weekly earnings fell 1.5% in retail trade and 0.4% in construction.

Among the provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador experienced the fastest growth in average weekly earnings (+5.3%), followed by Saskatchewan (+4.1%) and New Brunswick (+3.1%). Prince Edward Island was the only province to post a decline (-0.2%).

Comparing Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours and Labour Force Survey

These data come from the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours (SEPH). SEPH is a business survey that provides a detailed portrait of employees by industry. It complements information from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), which is a household survey.

Estimates of employment, wages and hours derived from these two surveys differ for a number of reasons.

First, the reference periods are different. LFS data are collected during a "reference week," usually the week following the 15th of the month. For SEPH, the reference period is an entire month.

The LFS includes people who are self-employed, as well as workers who take unpaid leave. SEPH does not cover these groups. Industry coverage for the LFS is comprehensive; SEPH excludes agriculture, fishing and trapping, and religious organizations.

The two count multiple job holders differently. In the LFS, people with more than one job are counted only once as "employed." SEPH is a count of filled positions on payroll, so each job is counted separately.

Finally, national estimates produced by the LFS do not include people living in the three territories or on reserves while SEPH does. LFS estimates are based on where people usually reside. SEPH counts employees in the province or territory where they work, although this has little effect on the comparability at the national level.

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1.Data not seasonally adjusted.

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1.Data not seasonally adjusted.

Note to readers

Unless otherwise stated, this release presents seasonally adjusted data, which eases comparisons by removing the effects of seasonal variations.

Annual revision

Every March, as part of the regularly scheduled year-end review of the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, seasonally adjusted data are revised using the latest seasonal factors. This year, all seasonally adjusted data going back four years (January 2006 onwards) have been revised and are available on CANSIM (Tables 281-0025, 281-0028, 281-0031, and 281-0034). The use of the latest seasonal factors had an impact on the date of the most recent peak of payroll employment, which is now August 2008, compared with the pre-revision peak of October 2008.

In addition, as part of the annual review, there were revisions to a small number of industries for the 2006 to 2009 period. The most significant affects are on the employment data for the following industries: depository credit intermediation; securities and commodity exchanges, and other financial investment activities.

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