indicatorThe Owl

Average earnings of employees by industry in Alberta

Earnings grew faster than inflation in 11 out of 20 industries

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 3 November 2021 1 min read

Monday’s Owl pointed out the gap that has formed between earnings and inflation in Alberta: as of August, seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings in the province were 6.6% higher than they were in January 2019 compared to a 7.5% jump in the Consumer Price Index.

Today’s Owl drills down a bit deeper and looks at how the earnings of workers in different industries have changed over the same period.

The first thing you notice is that earnings growth has not been even across industries. Seven out of the 20 main industrial sectors saw earnings growth of more than 10% between January 2019 and August 2021 while 6 have posted growth below 5%, including 2 sectors in negative territory (see the chart below).

Compared to the inflation rate, the earnings in 11 out of 20 sectors were above the 7.5% increase in prices with the other 9 sectors not keeping up.

Earnings growth is, of course, only part of the equation as it also matters where you start. For example, while average earnings have increased by 12.1% in the accommodation and food services sector since the start of 2019, they remain the lowest of any sector at $516 per week.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men's suicide.

Today’s trivia question: Which industry has more employees in Alberta: health care and social assistance or retail?

Earnings growth has not been even across industries

Earnings growth has not been even across industries

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