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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

September 24, 2020
EMPLOYMENT, EARNINGS AND HOURS, JULY 2020

PAYROLL EMPLOYMENT

Nova Scotia had 383,983 payroll employees in July, an increase of 3.7 per cent (+13,867) compared to June 2020, and down 9.5 per cent (-40,295) compared to last July. Nova Scotia's payroll employment has been trending upwards since 2017 but declined sharply after February due to restrictions and closures resulting from COVID-19 and partially rebounded in July and June due to eased restrictions.

Canada had 15.1 million employees, an increase of 5.1 per cent (+739,705) compared to last month and down 11.2 per cent (-1,910,408) compared to a year ago.

Compared to July 2019, Nova Scotia's payroll employment is down 9.5 per cent. Nationally, payroll employment is down 11.2 per cent in July 2020, with all provinces reporting decreases. The fastest payroll employment decline has been observed in Alberta (-13.5 per cent), Ontario (-12.6 per cent) followed by Newfoundland and Labrador (-11.9 per cent) and British Columbia (-11.6 per cent).

Compared to February 2020, Nova Scotia's payroll employment is down 9.6 per cent. Nationally, payroll employment is down 11.3 per cent in July 2020, with all provinces reporting decreases. The fastest payroll employment decline has been observed in Ontario (-12.8 per cent), Alberta (-12.5 per cent), followed by British Columbia (-11.7 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-11.5 per cent).  

In July 2020, payroll employment was down 8.7 per cent in Nova Scotia's goods producing sectors compared to July 2019. Goods sector payroll employment was down for manufacturing (-6.5 per cent), construction (-12.3 per cent) and forestry/logging (-7.3 per cent) sectors compared to July 2019.

Service sector employment was down 9.4 per cent in July 2020 compared to July 2019. Service sector payroll employment decreased the most in percentage terms in arts/entertainment/recreation (-42.0 per cent), accommodation and food services (-30.1 per cent), and real state/rental & leasing (-15.9 per cent). Payroll employment increased in management of companies (+5.2 per cent) and finance and insurance (+0.4 per cent).

AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS

Changes in average weekly earnings reflect wage growth as well as changes in the composition of employment by industry/occupation/experience, and average hours worked per week.  During COVID-19, large employment losses have been reported in industries with relatively low average weekly earnings. This means that average weekly earnings rise because those remaining employed are working in industries with higher average weekly earnings.  

Nova Scotians' average weekly earnings (including overtime, seasonally adjusted) decreased 3.4 per cent ($33.18) from June 2020 to $950.03 in July 2020. Average weekly wages were up 5.4 per cent compared with July 2019. Canadians' average weekly wages slightly increased 0.1 per cent month to month ($1,118.40 in July) and were 8.7 per cent higher than they were a year ago.

Across the country, there are monthly increases in four provinces, with the largest increases in Ontario (+0.9 per cent), Alberta (+0.7 per cent) and British Columbia (+0.6 per cent). The largest declines were reported in Nova Scotia (-3.4 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (-3.3 per cent).

Compared to a year ago, average wages were higher in all provinces, with the largest increases in percentage terms reported in British Columbia (+10.8 per cent), Ontario (+10.2 per cent), and Prince Edward Island (+9.4 per cent). The slowest year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings was observed in Alberta (+4.5 per cent) and Saskatchewan (+4.7 per cent).

Compared to February 2020, Nova Scotia's average wages were up 2.4 per cent. Nationally, average wages were up 6.9 per cent in July 2020. Average wages were higher in all provinces, with the largest increases in percentage terms reported in Ontario (+9.0 per cent), Prince Edward Island (+8.3 per cent), and British Columbia (+7.7 per cent). The slowest growth in average weekly earnings was observed in Nova Scotia (+2.4 per cent) and Saskatchewan (+2.4 per cent).

In July 2020 (compared to July 2019), average weekly earnings were up 3.8 per cent in Nova Scotia's goods producing sectors. Goods sector wages were up for construction sector. Service sector average earnings were up 5.7 per cent in July 2020. Service sector earnings increased the most in percentage terms in information & culture (+23.0 per cent), transportation/warehousing (+18.3 per cent), and arts, entertainment & recreation (+14.9 per cent). The fastest decline in service sector earnings was in management of companies (-22.9 per cent).

 

REFERENCE TABLES - (July 2020 vs July 2019)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, comparisons of year-to-date averages and sums do not show Nova Scotia’s rapidly changing economic situation. The DailyStats will focus on year-over-year comparisons, comparing one month with the same month in the prior year. Where possible the DailyStats will make comparisons of seasonally adjusted data from the pre-COVID-19 period (January and February 2020) with the period during which COVID-19 measures were in place from March 2020 onwards.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0222-01 Employment, average hourly and weekly earnings (including overtime), and average weekly hours for the industrial aggregate excluding unclassified businesses, monthly, seasonally adjusted; 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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