Alberta wages remain highest of all provinces

The province had 2,100 more employees in April than in March and 16,400 more than a year ago

Payroll
The average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees was $1,144.45.

Alberta continues to have the highest wages of all provinces despite a dip in April.

According to data released on Thursday by Statistics Canada, the average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in the province was $1,144.45, which was down one per cent on a month-over-month basis and by 0.6 per cent year over year.

Alberta experienced an increase of 2,100 employees from the previous month and the number is 16,400 higher than a year ago. 

“In Alberta, payroll employment in health care and social assistance, and in educational services trended up through the 2014-2016 oil price shock and in the years since. While these two sectors represented 15.1 per cent of payroll employment in Alberta in August 2014 – just before the oil price shock – in April 2019, their share was 18.4 per cent, pointing to a shift in the province’s labour market in recent years,” said the federal agency.

“In contrast, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction represented 6.5 per cent of payroll employment in Alberta in August 2014, and 4.9 per cent in April 2019. Other notable payroll employment losses since the 2014-2016 oil price shock were seen in construction, manufacturing, and professional, scientific and technical services – all of which have above-average weekly earnings. Together, these four sectors accounted for 30.3 per cent of payroll employment in Alberta in August 2014, and 25.2 per cent in April 2019.

“In terms of payroll employment levels, in early 2019, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction; construction; manufacturing; and professional, scientific and technical services all remained below their previous 2014 highs … the number of job vacancies decreased sharply from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019 in construction (-21.5 per cent) and in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-53.8 per cent). At the same time, the number of job vacancies was little changed in manufacturing over the period. For professional, scientific and technical services, the number of job vacancies increased by 41.2 per cent, which could indicate renewed strength in this highly-paid sector in the coming months.”

Across Canada, StatsCan said average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $1,022.53 in April, up 0.7 per cent from March. Compared with 12 months earlier, earnings grew by 2.9 per cent.

The number of employees also rose 17,000 month over month and by 377,300 year over year.

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