Issue 16-103:Payroll Employment, Earnings and Hours

May 27, 2016

Average weekly payroll earnings in British Columbia advanced 0.3% (seasonally adjusted, including overtime) in March, adding to a 0.9% rise in the previous month. Employees earned $917 weekly, on average, placing the province behind Alberta ($1,129), Newfoundland & Labrador ($1,008), Saskatchewan ($987) and Ontario ($971).

Nationally, average weekly earnings inched up 0.7% from March of 2015 to $960. On a year-over-year basis, wages increased in seven provinces, led by growth in Quebec (+3.6%).

In British Columbia, earnings in the goods-producing industries grew to $1,156 (+0.7%) as the utilities (+8.2%), forestry, logging and support (2.8%), manufacturing (+1.6%) industries all recorded increases. Wages in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-4.5%) and construction (-0.6%) declined.

On the other hand, average earnings for service-producing industries (+1.3%) were up, climbing to $871 per week. Industries posting the largest earnings increases were real estate and rental and leasing (+6.1%), whole sale trade (+4.3%), and finance and insurance (+4.0%). Earnings in administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (-11.0%) dropped, followed by management of companies and enterprises (-6.7%).

Unless otherwise noted, changes in seasonally adjusted data are reported on a month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter basis (e.g., from February to March, or from the first quarter to the second quarter). Changes in unadjusted data are reported on a year-over-year basis (e.g., from March 2015 to March 2016, or from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016).

Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Employment Payrolls and Hours (SEPH)