indicatorThe Owl

Modest wage growth in September

A wage-price spiral that would inflame already elevated inflation has not come to pass but remains a risk

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 25 November 2022 1 min read

Seasonally-adjusted average weekly earnings (including overtime) across all sectors in Alberta were 2.6% higher in September 2022 than in September 2021.

Wage growth was a little better nationally at +3.5%.

Average weekly earnings were higher in every province with New Brunswick posting the largest year-over-year increase at 6.3% followed by Quebec at 3.7%.

Prince Edward Island was the only province below Alberta with wage growth of 2.4%.

In Alberta, seasonally-adjusted average weekly earnings grew by 4.0% in the goods-producing sector compared to 2.1% in the service-producing sector.

Year-over-year earnings of employees grew the most in the finance and insurance sector (+15.8%) followed by real estate and leasing (+7.2%) and public administration (+6.7%).

Average earnings fell in six sectors including management of companies (-5.6%), information and culture (-4.0%) and arts, entertainment and recreation (-3.0%).

Despite the lag in the data, concerns about a potential wage-price spiral* that would inflame already elevated inflation have not come to pass. With that said, high inflation remains sticky and a wage-price spiral remains a possibility.

*A wage-price spiral occurs when “rising prices increase demand for higher wages, which leads to higher production costs and further upward pressure on prices.”

Answer to the previous trivia question: According to, A&W is the oldest fast food chain still operating today with the sale of franchises starting in 1925.

Today’s trivia question: In what year did the U.S. Supreme Court rule that Standard Oil must be dismantled because it violated federal anti-trust laws?

Average earnings were down in six sectors in Alberta in September 2022 on a year-over-year basis

Average earnings were down in six sectors in Alberta in September 2022 on a year-over-year basis

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