In July, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased 0.1% from the previous month to $872.70. On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings grew by 2.2%. This was the slowest earnings growth since January 2010.
Year-to-year change in average weekly hours and average weekly earnings
The 2.2% year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings reflects a number of factors, such as wage growth and changes in the composition of employment by industry, by occupation and by level of job experience.
The decrease in the average hours worked per week contributed to the slower growth in earnings in July. The average workweek declined from 33.0 hours in July 2010 to 32.8 hours in July 2011, down 0.6%, with fewer hours worked across the goods and services sectors. Compared with the previous month, average weekly hours were down 0.3%.
Data on the education sector
Changes in payroll employment in education during the summer months can be affected by changes in payment schedules and school-year calendars. Month-to-month changes should therefore be interpreted with caution, and more attention given to long-term trends.
Average weekly earnings up in every province
Average weekly earnings rose in every province in the 12 months to July, led by Newfoundland and Labrador. The slowest growth was in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings in July amounted to $879.70, up 6.2% from July 2010. Newfoundland and Labrador has recorded year-over-year growth in earnings above the national average every month since December 2010.
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, July 2010 to July 2011
Average weekly earnings by industry
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings exceeded the national average of 2.2% in four of Canada's largest industrial sectors: retail trade; professional, scientific and technical services; public administration and construction. At the same time, earnings declined in both manufacturing and accommodation and food services.
Year-to-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, July 2010 to July 2011
The fastest rate of growth in average weekly earnings occurred in retail trade in July. Earnings in this sector rose by 4.4% to $524.51, with increases spread across several industries.
The second fastest rate of increase was in professional, scientific and technical services, where average weekly earnings rose by 3.3% to $1,217.30 in the 12 months to July. This sector has seen steady earnings growth since September 2008.
Non-farm payroll employment by sector
In July, non-farm payroll employment rose by 36,300. In the 12 months to July, the number of payroll employees has increased by 231,600 (+1.6%).
The monthly increase was spread across a number of sectors, including educational services; construction; administrative and support services; health care and social assistance; accommodation and food services; and professional, scientific and technical services. At the same time, there were declines in public administration as well as retail trade.
On a year-over-year basis, the fastest job growth was in mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction, where payroll employment increased by 8.5% (+16,000). Most of this growth, however, occurred over the first eight months of the period, with employment in the sector edging down since April 2011.
Since July 2010, there was also above-average growth in the number of employees in construction (+3.8%); professional, scientific and technical services (+2.5%); health care and social assistance (+2.2%); and public administration (+1.7%).
Sector profile: Professional, scientific and technical services
From time to time, this release profiles an industrial sector with a notable trend in earnings, hours or employment. The profile for July 2011 examines the professional, scientific and technical services sector because of its trend of faster-than-average growth in earnings and employment over the past two years.
Payroll employment in professional, scientific and technical services, January 2008 to July 2011
In July, 778,800 employees worked in professional, scientific and technical services, making it the eighth largest sector. Architectural, engineering and related services accounts for the largest share (24%), followed closely by computer systems design and related services (21%). Others include: accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services; management, scientific and technical consulting; legal services; scientific research and development; as well as advertising, public relations and related services.
Like many sectors, professional, scientific and technical services experienced a notable decline during the 2008/2009 economic downturn. After hitting an employment peak in October 2008, the number of employees in that sector fell 5.3% until September 2009, a much steeper decline than the 2.4% decrease for all sectors combined. Most of the industries within this sector had job declines during the downturn, with the exception of scientific, research and development services and legal services.
From September 2009 to July 2011, payroll employment in professional, scientific and technical services grew by 4.7%, almost returning to its pre-downturn levels. This compares with overall payroll employment growth of 3.2% over the same period.
Over the previous 12 months, the most notable job gains within this sector have been in architectural, engineering and related services (+7.4%); advertising and public relations (+4.6%); and computer systems design and related services (+3.8%). At the same time, there were declines in scientific research and development services (-2.8%) and management, scientific and technical consulting (-2.7%).
Average weekly earnings in the professional, scientific and technical services sector have been increasing steadily since 2008. In July 2011, average weekly earnings of $1,217.30 were the third highest among all sectors, following mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction as well as utilities.
In the 12 months to July, earnings in professional, scientific and technical services grew by 3.3%, with the largest growth in management, scientific and technical consulting; and architectural, engineering and related services and "other" professional, scientific and technical services.
Average weekly hours worked by employees in professional, scientific and technical services declined by 0.8% to 35.4 hours in July from 35.7 hours 12 months earlier. The average workweek in this sector was above the all-sector average of 32.8 hours in July.