Wages waxed in September
With a large number of low-wage jobs still either unfilled or not available due to the disruptive effects of the pandemic, average earnings are likely somewhat higher than they otherwise would be
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 26 November 2021 1 min read
Average weekly earnings (including overtime) for all employees in Alberta edged up by 1.2% in September and were up by 3.1% compared to a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the inflation rate between September 2020 and 2021 in Alberta was 4.0%.
Compared to September 2020, average earnings were, for example, up by 14.1% in the oil and gas sector, by 5.6% in the manufacturing sector, by 3.2% in accommodation and food services and by 2.7% in retail.
Sectors in Alberta that saw earnings fall on a year-over-year basis include construction (-1.4%), health care and social assistance (-3.9%) and arts, entertainment and recreation (-0.8%).
Nationally, month-over-month earnings were basically flat, rising just 0.2% in September while year-over-year earnings were higher by 2.6%.
With a large number of low-wage jobs still either unfilled or not available due to the disruptive effects of the pandemic, average earnings are likely somewhat higher than they otherwise would be.
As more workers move from income support back into low-wage jobs, this will pull average earnings lower. At the same time, if persistent labour shortages and inflation lead employers to raise wages to help attract and retain workers, this will push average earnings higher.
As with so many other aspects of the economy during the pandemic, how these competing trends will play out is not yet clear.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Alberta accounted for 16% of Canada’s total real GDP in 2020.
Today’s trivia question: Who is the highest paid NHL player at US$15 million for the 2021-22 season?