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Canada. Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees rise

Between October 2009 and October 2010, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees rose 4.4% to $863.33.

The pace of growth in earnings has been increasing in recent months. October was the third consecutive month in which the year-over-year growth rate was higher than 4.0%. Prior to this period, the increase surpassed 3.0% for four months in a row. For most of 2009, the rate of growth was below 2.0%.

Some of the growth in weekly earnings between October 2009 and October 2010 was attributable to a 0.9% increase in the average number of hours worked per week. The remainder of the increase reflects a number of other factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, changes in occupations within industry and job experience.

Average weekly earnings increased in every province. Growth was at or above the national average in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario. Growth was slowest in Prince Edward Island.

Average weekly earnings by industry
Among Canada's largest industrial sectors, growth in average weekly earnings between October 2009 and October 2010 was above the national average of 4.4% in manufacturing; wholesale trade; professional, scientific and technical services; and administrative and support services. The slowest growth in earnings occurred in construction.

From October 2009, when average weekly earnings in the manufacturing sector hit the most recent low, until August 2010, earnings were on an upward trend. Over the following two months, manufacturing earnings were essentially unchanged.

Among manufacturing industries, the growth in earnings from October 2009 to October 2010 was strongest in the manufacturing of beverages; petroleum and coal products; plastics and rubber products; primary metals; machinery; and food.

Earnings in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector have been on a strong upward trend since their recent low in August 2009. From October 2009 to October 2010, earnings in this sector have risen by 13.6% to lead all industrial sectors. Growth was strong in all mining, quarrying, oil and gas industries.

In October, while the growth in year-over-year average weekly earnings in construction (+0.3%) was the lowest of all major industrial sectors, there were notable differences within the sector. While both earnings and employment increased in specialty trade contracting and building construction over the 12-month period, both earnings and employment declined in heavy and civil engineering construction, the sub-sector with the highest average weekly earnings. The earnings decline in this sub-sector pulled down overall average earnings growth in construction over the period.

Non-farm payroll employment by industry
Non-farm payroll employment edged down 0.1% (-10,400) in November from September, offsetting a similar increase the month before. Since October 2009, the number of payroll employees has increased by 1.7% (+241,100).

In October, manufacturing payroll jobs fell for the third time in four months, down 0.5% (-8,000). Most of October's manufacturing losses were in food; printing and related support activities; and fabricated metal products. Since October 2009, total factory jobs have risen by 0.4% (+5,600).

The number of jobs in health care and social assistance decreased by 0.2% (-3,900) from September, mainly in residential developmental handicap, mental health and substance abuse facilities; and general medical and surgical hospitals. Despite this one-month employment decline in the health sector, the number of jobs has increased by 1.7% (+26,700) since October 2009, making it one of the top contributors to total growth over the 12 months.

In administrative and support services, payroll employment increased by 0.3% (+2,100) in October, with half of the gains in employment services. Since October 2009, the number of employees in administrative and support services has increased by 2.8% (+19,700).

Hours worked and average hours worked by hourly and salaried employees
Total hours worked by hourly and salaried employees were little changed in October compared with the month before, and were up 2.4% over the previous 12 months.

Average weekly hours worked by hourly and salaried employees amounted to 32.9 hours in October, unchanged for the sixth consecutive month but up from 32.6 in October 2009.

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