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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

October 31, 2019

Nova Scotians' average weekly earnings (including overtime, seasonally adjusted) increased 1.1 per cent ($10.27) from July to $911.09 in August 2019.  Average weekly wages were up 3.9 per cent compared with August 2018. Canadians' average weekly wages increased 0.6 per cent month to month ($1,035.21 in August) and were 2.9 per cent higher than they were a year ago.

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, there were monthly increases in 6 of 10 provinces. Compared to the previous month, Newfoundland and Labrador (+1.3 per cent), Nova Scotia (+1.1 per cent) and Ontario (+0.9 per cent) had the largest increases in August, while Saskatchewan had the largest decline (-0.6 per cent). Average weekly earnings in New Brunswick were relatively unchanged month to month.

Compared to a year ago, average wages are higher in all provinces, with the largest increases in percentage terms reported in Newfoundland and Labrador (+4.5 per cent), Nova Scotia (+3.9 per cent), Quebec and Ontario (both +3.6 per cent).

Comparing the first seven months of 2019 with the same period in 2018, average weekly earnings have increased 3.7 per cent in Nova Scotia, the fastest growth among the provinces. Nationally, average weekly earnings have increased 2.4 per cent year-to-date.

In January-August 2019, average weekly earnings are up 4.3 per cent in Nova Scotia's goods producing sectors.  Goods sector wages were up for manufacturing and construction sectors; data for the other goods sectors are suppressed. Service sector earnings were up 3.5 per cent in the first eight months of 2019. Service sector earnings increased the most in percentage terms in real estate (+7.8 per cent), finance and insurance (+7.1 per cent), professional, scientific and technical services (+6.7 per cent) and administration and support services (+6.6 per cent). There were declines in average weekly earnings in arts, entertainment and recreation (-1.9 per cent).



Nova Scotia had 422,079 payroll employees in August, down 0.5 per cent per cent compared to last month, and up 1.8 per cent compared to last August. Canada had 17.0 million employees, virtually unchanged from last month and up 2.1 per cent compared to a year ago.

Nova Scotia's payroll employment has been trending upwards since 2017.

Compared to the first eight months of 2018, Nova Scotia's payroll employment is up 2.3 per cent, year-to-date. Nationally, payroll employment is up 2.2 per cent in January-August 2019, with all provinces reporting increases during this period. The fastest payroll employment growth has been observed in Prince Edward Island (+3.6 per cent), followed by New Brunswick (+2.9 per cent) and Quebec and British Columbia (both +2.7 per cent).


REFERENCE TABLES - (January-August 2019 vs January-August 2018)


Source: Statistics Canada

Table  14-10-0223-01   Employment and average weekly earnings (including overtime) for all employees by province and territory, monthly, seasonally adjusted

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