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Wages stall...again

Wages stall...again

Posted on: 9/28/2017 | Author:  

After a modest increase in June, wages fell flat again in July. Average weekly earnings in Alberta dropped about one percentage point to $1,125 in July (this figure is adjusted for seasonality and includes overtime pay, but excludes taxes).

About half of all job categories registered pay declines from June to July, but the take home pay of administrative and support, waste management and remediation services slipped the most (-17.2 per cent). Other notable pay declines were recorded in information and culture (-5.3 per cent) as well as manufacturing (-2.5 per cent).

Meanwhile, those who were employed in forestry and logging notched a 15 per cent pay increase from June. Wages are up by nearly 15 per cent since last year in this category. This is a bit of a surprise given forestry’s role in the NAFTA negotiations and the tariffs that were placed on the industry by the US in April. Weekly earnings within utilities (+6.1 per cent), and arts, entertainment and recreation (+4.9 per cent), grew as well.

Wage growth for current workers in Alberta has continued to trend around or below zero for about two years. July’s wage report is yet another sign that Alberta’s job market is still recovering from two tough years of recession. Flatter wages may start to slow Alberta’s retailers in the province and chip away at housing and real estate as well.

Alberta average weekly earnings, graph

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