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Canada. Non-farm Payroll Employment Up

Non-farm payroll employment increased by 15,900 in September (+0.1%). 

Of the 305 industries surveyed, 170 or 55.7%, posted gains. This was the largest number of industries adding to their payrolls since July 2008.

Since payroll employment peaked in October 2008, the number of employees in Canada has declined by 448,100 (-3.0%). Most of the declines occurred during the first six months of the economic downturn in both the goods and service sectors.

September's increase in payroll employees came entirely from the goods sector, particularly construction. In the service sector, modest gains in public administration and accomodation and food services were more than offset by job losses within a number of other service industries.

Payroll employment rose modestly in eight provinces in September, with the largest gains in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. The number of payroll employees declined slightly in British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

Average weekly earnings of payroll employees stood at $830.68 in September, up 1.9% from September 2008. This was the highest year-over-year increase since January 2009 (+2.4%).

Gains in goods sector driven by construction jobs

Growth in payroll employment in September came from the goods sector (+27,500), led by construction industries (+10,000).

Between October 2008 and April 2009, payroll employment in construction fell by 64,100. The number of construction jobs remained relatively stable throughout the summer months, followed by an increase in September 2009. Only two provinces, Quebec and Ontario, experienced modest increases in construction employees every month from May to September.

Payroll employment in construction increased in a number of industries, including other specialty trade contracting (+2,500); utility system construction (+2,100); and foundation, structure, and building exterior contracting (+1,800). Payroll employment gains also occurred in other goods industries, including support activities for forestry (+1,700) and support activities for mining, oil and gas extraction (+1,200).

Payroll employment rose in 55 of 86 manufacturing industries, but in small numbers. The overall increase in the number of manufacturing jobs in September was 2,100 (+0.1%). However, September was the first month since July 2008 in which employment has increased in more than half of manufacturing industries.

Small decline in service sector jobs

In September, payroll employment gains and losses in service industries yielded a net loss of 4,100 employees.

Notable gains included special food services (+3,300); school and employee bus transportation (+2,400); other provincial and territorial public administration (+2,000); and services to buildings and dwellings (+2,000).

These gains were offset by payroll employment losses, including those in grocery stores (-5,700); full-service restaurants (-2,700); depository credit intermediation (-2,600); community colleges and collèges d'enseignement général et professionel (-2,400); architectural, engineering and related services (-2,100); and business support services (-2,000).

Average weekly earnings

Average weekly earnings of payroll employees was $830.68 in September, up 1.9% from September 2008. This was faster than the 1.5% growth observed between August 2008 and August 2009, and the fastest since January 2009 (+2.4%).

Among Canada's six largest industrial sectors, average weekly earnings increased between September 2008 and September 2009 in public administration (+5.7%); educational services (+3.7%); retail trade (+3.3%); manufacturing (+2.9%); and health care and social assistance (+1.6%). Over the same period, average weekly earnings fell 0.4% in accommodation and food services.

September marked the first year-over-year increase in average weekly earnings in manufacturing since the start of the economic downturn. Increases in earnings were most notable in primary metal; chemical; transportation equipment; wood product; and food manufacturing. All had posted marked year-over-year declines in average weekly earnings over the previous 11 months.

Between September 2008 and September 2009, nine provinces saw increases in average weekly earnings. The fastest increase occurred in Prince Edward Island (+6.4%), followed by Manitoba (+3.9%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+3.8%) and New Brunswick (+3.8%). The only province to post a decline in average weekly earnings over the period was British Columbia (-0.3%).

Total hours

Total hours worked including overtime by hourly paid employees decreased by 4.7% between September 2008 and September 2009. This was the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year declines in total hours.
© Statistics Canada -


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