Daily Economic Comment - Albertan Wages Climb Faster then Average
Posted By: Will van't Veld Nov 24, 2011
Stock markets might be decidedly lower of late, making many households feel somewhat less wealthy, but Albertans can find some succor in their high and growing relative wages.
According to Statistics Canada's monthly payroll employment, earnings and hours survey, the year-over-year average weekly wage in Alberta increased 3.8%. Average weekly earnings in the province were $1,043 in September, 2011, which is actually 11% higher than where wages stood three years ago (when Lehman Brothers collapsed).
Saskatchewan's economy has also been improving very rapidly, with the survey indicating that year-over-year wages jumped 6.9%. The average worker in Saskatchewan now earns $906 a week - second only to Alberta. In contrast, year-over-year weekly wages in Ontario actually contracted 1.3% to $889 a week. Due to Ontario's large impact on the national statistics Canada's overall annual wage growth came in at only 1.1%.
It's actually quite rare top see year-over-year wage rates decline, as employers tend to adjust employment levels more often then wage rates when the economy weakens. One observation does not a trend make but, considering how rare falling wages are, the drop observed in Ontario is noteworthy.
Alberta's labor market might not be expanding as quickly as it was during the first half of this year but, given what other countries and provinces are dealing with, life continues to look pretty rosy.