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Average weekly earnings in Alberta Part II

Average weekly earnings in Alberta Part II

Posted on: 3/29/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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Part Two: In comparison to other sectors

Yesterday, The Owl explored how average weekly earnings of employees in Alberta have trended higher over the last year. Compared to the lowest point during the recession, wages are up about four per cent. But not all pay cheques are created equally. Within that growth, there is a wide disparity of earnings across sectors.

The graph below shows weekly wages for four major sectors of Alberta’s economy: oil and gas, construction, government and retail. By far, the highest earnings are still found in the oil and gas sector, where employees made an average of $2,267 per week in January. Wages in the energy sector fell somewhat during the recession, although producers dealt with plunging oil prices more by eliminating total jobs rather than slashing pay. Earnings in oil and gas are roughly double the provincial average and two-and-a-quarter times the Canadian average.

Construction workers had been enjoying steady pay increases prior to the recession but, since peaking in the autumn of 2014, earnings have dropped by 7 per cent. That’s a reflection of weaker construction activity and less demand for some workers in the building trades. Construction sector wages are now on par with those of government employees, whose wages have risen more steadily but only gradually.

The lowest wage earners in the province are in the retail sector. With more part-time and entry level positions, employees in retail earn only about $615 per week.

Industry wages, graph

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