Wages, jobs on the rise in Alberta in October: StatsCan

Across the country, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.7 hours a week in October, up from 32.5 the previous month

Mario ToneguzziAverage weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in Alberta remained the highest among all provinces in October at $1,143.82, according to data released on Thursday by Statistics Canada.

The federal agency said earnings rose by 0.4 per cent on a monthly basis and by 0.2 per cent year over year in the province.

It also said the number of employees in Alberta rose by 3,000 month over month and by 14,600 year over year.

Nationally, average weekly earnings were $1,009 in October, up 0.6 per cent from the previous month. Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings increased by 2.5 per cent.

“In general, changes in weekly earnings reflect a number of factors, including wage growth; changes in the composition of employment by industry, occupation and level of job experience; and average hours worked per week,” explained the federal agency.

“Non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.7 hours per week in October, up from 32.5 hours the previous month, but down from 32.8 hours in October 2017.

“Compared with October 2017, average weekly earnings increased in six of the 10 largest industrial sectors, with retail trade leading these increases for the seventh consecutive month. Earnings were little changed in educational services, administrative and support services, manufacturing and wholesale trade.”

On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in retail trade rose 7.6 per cent to $613, said StatsCan.

“The number of non-farm payroll employees rose by 42,800 from September. The largest month-over-month increases were in health care and social assistance, manufacturing and construction. At the same time, payroll employment declined in accommodation and food services as well as in the information and cultural industries,” added Statistics Canada.

“Compared with October 2017, the number of payroll employees rose by 380,900 (+2.3 per cent). Employment increased in most sectors, led by health care and social assistance (+64,000 or +3.3 per cent), professional, scientific and technical services (+43,400 or +4.8 per cent) and manufacturing (+37,900 or +2.5 per cent). In contrast, there were declines in information and cultural industries (-4,400 or -1.3 per cent) and real estate and rental and leasing (-1,100 or -0.4 per cent).”

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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