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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

December 20, 2017

Nova Scotians' average weekly earnings (including overtime, seasonally adjusted) declined by $13.75 per week (-1.6 per cent) from September to $854.27 in October.  Average weekly wages are 1.5 per cent higher than in October of last year. Canadians' average weekly wages were down 0.1 per cent from September to $983.00 in October, up 3.1 per cent from the same month in 2016.  

Changes in average weekly earnings reflect wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry/occupation/experience; and average hours worked per week.

Across the country, monthly average weekly wages were down 0.1 per cent, reflecting declines in most provinces (except Prince Edward Island, Quebec and British Columbia).  Comparing the latest results with October of 2016, all provinces except Prince Edward Island saw increases in average weekly earnings. 

Through the first ten months of 2017, average weekly wages have been growing fastest in British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec. In year to date terms, Nova Scotia's average weekly wages have averaged 1.4 per cent above the levels reported for the same period in 2016.   

Average weekly earnings are up 1.9 per cent in Nova Scotia's goods producing sectors, comparing the first ten months of 2017 with the same period of 2016.  Growth in goods sector wages were led by the construction sector while manufacturing wages were flat.  Service sector earnings were up more slowly at 1.2 per cent YTD.  Service sector earnings were up faster in management, administrative/support, finance/insurance, personal/repair (other services), transportation, education and health care.  There have been declines in average weekly earnings in wholesale/retail trade, information/culture and real estate/rentals. 


Nova Scotia had 409,442 payroll employees in October, a 0.1 per cent decrease from September, and a 1.7 per cent increase from levels observed in October of last year. Canada had 16.35 million employees, down 0.1 per cent from September, and 2.1 per cent above levels observed in October 2016.

Nova Scotia's payroll employment has been trending upwards since 2014. Year to date average estimates for 2017 are 1.0 per cent higher than the first ten months of 2016.

Payroll employment is up 1.9 per cent across Canada (comparing the first ten months of 2017 with the same period of 2016).  The fastest payroll employment growth has been observed in British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario.  Nova Scotia's payroll employment is up 1.0 per cent (YTD) over the first ten months of 2016.


Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Employment, Payroll, and Hours. CANSIM Table 281-0063, 281-0049

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