Wages are up, but not really
Wages adjusted for inflation have been on a downward trend
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 26 August 2022 1 min read
Wages in Alberta continue to grow, but not nearly enough to match inflation.
Seasonally-adjusted average weekly earnings (including overtime) picked up in the province for the second consecutive month, going from $1,253 in May to $1,257 in June (+0.4%).
Average earnings in June were also up relative to the same month last year, rising by 2.2% on an unadjusted basis. Already higher-paying goods sector earnings grew by 4.5% and were responsible for most of the aggregate increase while average wages across services industries were up by only 1.1%.
The picture changes when you factor in inflation.
Real wages (i.e., earnings adjusted for higher consumer prices) have been on a downward trend for several months, fell to their lowest level in nearly thirteen years in June, and were down by 4.0% over the first six months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
It’s a similar situation nationally, albeit slightly less dire. At their lowest point since September 2019, real wages in Canada were down by 3.4% on a year-to-date basis.
We expect the story to be largely unchanged when we get the numbers for July.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Paris was liberated from German occupiers on August 25, 1944.
Today’s trivia question: Who is credited with writing the first job resume?