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

In October, average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees increased 1.4% to $885.36 from the previous month.

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings rose 2.7%.

Year-to-year change in average weekly hours and average weekly earnings

Increases in average weekly earnings reflect 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.

Average hours worked per week can also influence growth in year-over-year earnings. However, the average work week was unchanged from October 2010 at 33.0 hours.

Average weekly earnings are derived by dividing total weekly earnings by the number of employees.

Average weekly earnings by sector

The monthly increase in average weekly earnings was highest in finance and insurance; education; real estate and rental leasing; utilities; mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction; and manufacturing.

Year-to-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, October 2010 to October 2011

Chart description: Year-to-year change in average weekly earnings in the 10 largest sectors, October 2010 to October 2011
Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings exceeded the national average of 2.7% in four of Canada's largest industrial sectors: administrative and support services; professional, scientific and technical services; health care and social assistance; and education.

In administration and support services, average weekly earnings rose 6.8% to $747.82. Year-over-year growth was widespread across the industries in this sector.

In the 12 months to October, average weekly earnings in professional, scientific and technical services were up 3.6% to $1,236.53. Increases were particularly pronounced in management, scientific and technical consulting, and in architectural, engineering and related services.

Average weekly earnings in health care and social assistance increased 3.4% to $819.15. Growth in this sector was most notable in hospitals.

Growth in earnings also surpassed the national average in some smaller sectors. From October 2010 to October 2011, earnings increased in the two highest paying industries. In utilities, earnings increased 9.3% to $1,691.32, while earnings for employees in mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction rose 4.7% to $1,800.70.

Average weekly earnings up in every province

Average weekly earnings rose in every province in the 12 months to October, led by growth in Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta. The lowest rate of growth was in Nova Scotia.

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings by province, October 2010 to October 2011

In Newfoundland and Labrador, average weekly earnings were $901.83 in October, up 7.7% from the same month a year earlier. Earnings in this province have grown at a higher rate than the national average since December 2010.

In Alberta, average weekly earnings increased 4.5% over the 12 months to $1,049.31 in October, and remained the highest level of earnings among the provinces.

The lowest year-over-year growth occurred in Nova Scotia (+0.4%), where the average weekly earnings were $770.25 in October.

Non-farm payroll employment by sector

From September to October, non-farm payroll employment declined by 24,500. On a year-over-year basis, the number of employees rose 228,900 (+1.5%).

The monthly decrease in payroll employment in October occurred in both goods and services, with the largest declines in public administration, manufacturing, and retail trade.

Declines within both public administration and manufacturing were widespread. In retail trade, most of the monthly job losses were in building material and garden equipment stores, gasoline stations and clothing stores.

Payroll employment in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction was little changed in October. However, the sector posted the fastest year-over-year growth in payroll employment (+8.7% or +16,700) of all sectors. Growth in this sector was driven by gains in support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction, as well as metal ore mining.

The utilities sector also showed strong year-over-year job growth (+5.9% or +6,900). Most of the increase came from electric power generation, transmission and distribution.

© Statistics Canada -

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