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Earnings

Payroll employment, earnings and hours for December 2014

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $943 in December, up 0.7% from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, weekly earnings increased by 2.0%.

The 2.0% increase in weekly earnings, compared with December 2013, reflected 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. Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.9 hours in December, unchanged from the previous month and down from 33.0 hours in December 2013.

Average weekly earnings by sector

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average in 5 of the 10 largest industrial sectors, led by professional, scientific and technical services as well as accommodation and food services. Over this period, average weekly earnings were little changed in construction, retail trade, health care and social assistance, manufacturing as well as administrative and support services.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services increased 5.0% to $1,352 in December. Earnings growth was spread across most industries in this sector. The largest increase over the period was in architectural, engineering and related services, followed by accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services. At the same time, earnings declined notably in scientific research and development services.

Average weekly earnings in accommodation and food services were up 4.2% to $378. Earnings increased for traveller accommodation as well as full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places.

Year over year, earnings increased 2.9% in public administration to $1,203 in December, with most of the growth in the first quarter of the year. Earnings growth was led by local, municipal and regional public administration, as well as provincial and territorial public administration.

Compared with a recent low in December 2013, average weekly earnings in educational services increased 2.7% to $987.

Compared with a year earlier, earnings in wholesale trade increased 2.2% to $1,166, led by growth among merchant wholesalers of personal and household goods, as well as machinery, equipment and supplies. At the same time, earnings declined for merchant wholesalers of motor vehicle and parts and accessories, as well as building material supplies.

Average weekly earnings by province

Year-over-year average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased in every province in December. Growth was highest in Newfoundland and Labrador, while Ontario and Manitoba had the lowest earnings growth.

Average weekly earnings in Newfoundland and Labrador were $1,011 in December, up 4.4% from 12 months earlier. Growth was spread across most sectors in the province, led by transportation and warehousing, accommodation and food services as well as construction. At the same time, earnings declined notably in educational services, and health care and social assistance.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in Saskatchewan increased 3.5% to $996. Earnings growth was led by information and cultural industries, construction and public administration. At the same time, earnings declined in manufacturing and retail trade.

Compared with December 2013, average weekly earnings in New Brunswick were up 3.5% to $847. Year-over-year earnings growth was led by manufacturing and health care and social assistance, while earnings declined in finance and insurance as well as in transportation and warehousing.

For non-farm payroll employees in Prince Edward Island, average weekly earnings increased 3.5% to $792 on a year-over-year basis. Earnings growth was highest in information and cultural industries, finance and insurance as well as public administration.

Compared with a year earlier, average weekly earnings in Ontario increased 1.6% to $944 in December. Year-over-year earnings growth in Ontario has been below the national average since August 2013.

In Manitoba, earnings increased 1.5% to $880 compared with December 2013. Earnings growth has leveled off in recent months following steady gains in the first half of 2014.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

The number of non-farm payroll jobs increased by 21,800 in December, offsetting the decline of 18,400 in November. In December, health care and social assistance recorded the largest gains in payroll employment, while professional scientific and technical services had the largest decline.

In the 12 months to December, non-farm payroll employment increased by 154,300 or 1.0%, with the majority of payroll jobs gained between April and October.

From December 2013 to December 2014, employment growth was highest in real estate and rental and leasing (+4.5%); construction (+3.1%); mining, and quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+3.1%); and professional, scientific and technical services (+2.6%). At the same time, the sectors with the largest employment declines were information and cultural industries (-2.9%), utilities (-2.0%) and public administration (-1.1%).

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