There was some good news on the Alberta labour front on Wednesday from Statistics Canada.
The federal agency reported that the number of non-farm payroll employees in the province was up by 9,000 in January from December. On an annual basis, it had risen by 17,700.
And average weekly earnings in Alberta rose by 0.9 per cent month over month and by one per cent year over year to $1,152.31, the highest of any province in the country.
“Higher earnings and employment in retail trade and professional, scientific and technical services were offset by lower earnings in wholesale trade and lower employment in construction and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction,” said StatsCan.
In Canada, the number of employees rose by 71,200 month over month and by 393,800 year over year.
Average weekly earnings were $1,011.62, up by 0.3 per cent from December and up by two per cent from a year ago.
“Compared with January 2018, average weekly hours worked decreased in Newfoundland and Labrador (-1.8 per cent), Alberta (-1.2 per cent), British Columbia (-0.9 per cent), New Brunswick (-0.9 per cent) and Ontario (-0.6 per cent), while they increased in Prince Edward Island (+0.9 per cent). Hours were little changed in all other provinces,” it said.
“Year over year, out of the 10 largest industrial sectors, the average number of hours worked increased in professional, scientific and technical services (+1.7 per cent) and educational services (+1.6 per cent). At the same time, there were declines in construction (-3.0 per cent), retail trade (-1.4 per cent), wholesale trade (-1.1 per cent) and public administration (-0.9 per cent). There was little change in administrative and support services; health care and social assistance; manufacturing; and accommodation and food services.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary. He writes for Calgary’s Business.