B.C. lags most provinces in wage increases: Statistics Canada

The average Canadian made $928 per week in November 2013, an increase of nearly 1% compared with the previous month, Statistics Canada reports.

The average Canadian made $928 per week in November 2013, an increase of nearly 1% compared with the previous month, Statistics Canada reports.

Year-over-year, the average wage increase in Canada was 2.5% between November 2012 and November 2013.

B.C. lagged almost all other provinces in 2013 in terms of wage increases. The average wage increase for B.C. between November 2012 and November 2013 was 1.7% – below the Canadian average of 2.5% and well below Saskatchewan, which led Canada in terms of wage increases with a 4.7% increase. The statistics do not include income from farming.

Of the 10 Canadian provinces, B.C. came in seventh in terms of wage increases between 2012 and 2013. Alberta and Ontario had the second and third highest wage increases at 3.7% and 2.9% respectively.

The sector that saw the biggest increase in wages across Canada was the wholesale sector, followed by health care and social services. Administration and support services had the third highest increases, with construction having the fourth highest.

But even at fourth place, construction workers on average made more than workers in many job sectors.

The average weekly earnings in the wholesale trade increased 4.1% to $1,100 per week between November 2012 and November 2013. Earnings in health care and social assistance rose by 3.9% to $858 per week.

Wages for administrative and support services increased 3.3% to $749 per week. The construction sector had increases of 3%, bringing the average weekly wage to $1,221, with the highest increases being in heavy and civil engineering construction.

Although wages increased overall across Canada, the number of workers fell in November 2013 by 27,600, following an increase of 19,600 in October.

The most noticeable drop in jobs was in accommodation, food services and retail.

nbennett@biv.com

@nbennett_biv