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

November 30, 2023

Quarter-over-quarter (Q3 2023 vs Q2 2023, seasonally adjusted)

Total compensation of employees for all industries increased by 0.8% in Nova Scotia, rising to $7.8 billion in Q3 2023.  National employee compensation was up 1.3% in the third quarter of 2023. All provinces recorded quarter over quarter with gains in Q3 2023. The fastest rise was reported in Prince Edward Island. The slowest increases in employee compensation were in Alberta and Nova Scotia.                                                               

Year-To-Date (January-September 2023 vs January-September 2022)

Nova Scotia's employee compensation for all industries was up 7.5% in the first three quarters of 2023 when compared to the same period in 2022.  National employee compensation grew 6.5%. All provinces recorded year-over-year gains in employee compensation during the first half of 2023.  The fastest increase was reported in Prince Edward Island, while the slowest rise was in Saskatchewan.  

Year-to-date growth in total wages and salaries by industry show that the strongest contributions to rising payrolls came from the professional and personal services industries followed by manufacturing, construction and health care/social assistance (which includes daycare). Wage and salary totals were down only for mining, oil and gas industries.

In percentage terms, manufacturing and construction sectors posted the largest gains during the first half of the year in Nova Scotia.  Military wages and salaries were also up based on a large payment in June 2023 (military wages sometimes report large payments isolated to a single month). 

Note that changes in employee compensation reflect changes in wages and salaries as well as changes in contributions to social insurance.  Changes in wages and salaries include the effects of changing numbers of employees, changing hours worked and wage rates as well as effects from differences in pay period from one year to the next. 


In each of June 2022 and June 2023, there were spikes in employee compensation, followed by corrections.  After the June 2023 spike (associated with an extraordinary payment in military wages and salaries), growth in Nova Scotia employee compensation resumed growing in line with trends.  

On a year-over-year basis, growth in employee compensation increased 10.5% (September 2023 vs September 2022).   Part of this reflects a longer period of decline in employee compensation that followed the June 2022 peak, lasting until September 2022.  Compared against this recent trough, September 2023 employee compensation has grown more rapidly on a year-over-year basis.    

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 36-10-0205-01  Wages, salaries and employers' social contributions (x 1,000)

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