Alberta wages show signs of recovery
Statistics Canada reported that wages in Alberta rose again in March, gaining another $6 to average $1,129/week across all sectors of the economy. This is the second consecutive increase for the province. Wages have been steadily falling since January of 2015 but seem to have turned a corner earlier in the year. Year-over-year, average salaries across all sectors in Alberta are down still 2.2%.
Albertans still enjoy the highest incomes in the country, significantly higher than the national average. Across Canada, average weekly earnings were $960 during the month of March, up 0.7% from last year.
Alberta's oil and gas workers remain the best paid in Canada. Despite the heavy job losses, salaries broke a new record in March, averaging $2,371/week. The data would suggest job losses in the energy patch were more heavily weighted towards those with less experience.
The national jobs data isn't very encouraging. Year-over-year, StatsCan reported there were 28,900 fewer jobs in the mining and oil & gas sectors of the economy (down 13.1%) and 22,300 fewer manufacturing positions (down 1.5%).
The largest job gains are being seen in health care (+54,800), accommodations & food services (+28,500), arts & recreation (+21,800) and retail trade (+21,200). Unfortunately, those 4 sectors make up the lowest paying jobs in Canada. Minimum wage increases across most provinces take effect in April and May which should give the weekly wages another boost.
On another sour note, wage growth across the country is 0.7%, much lower than the national inflation rate, which is running close to 2%.
Weekly earnings reported by StatsCan are gross, before taxes and payroll deductions and exclude the agricultural sector.