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Earnings not keeping up with inflation

Earnings not keeping up with inflation

Posted on: 5/30/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​Average weekly earnings of payroll employees (before deductions, including overtime and adjusted for seasonal variations) in Alberta were $1,159.15 in March. After losing ground in February, earnings were up 1.6 per cent in March and by 0.4 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The 0.4 per cent increase since March 2018 is, however, well below inflation, with Alberta’s Consumer Price Index rising by 2.3 per cent over the same period.

Nationally, average weekly earnings increased 0.8 per cent in March to reach $1,016. On a year-over-year basis, the Canadian average increased by 1.9 per cent compared to a national inflation rate that was also 2.3 per cent.

The number of oil and gas sector employees was still down by 4.7 per cent year-over-year in March but earnings were up by 8.4 per cent to $2,403.27 per week. The biggest increase was in the arts, entertainment and recreation sub-sector with weekly earnings rising by 25.4 per cent to reach $713.19.

The number of retail workers increased by 3.6 per cent compared to March 2018 but earnings were down by 4.8 per cent. The number of employees in the management of companies and enterprises category increased by 13.6 per cent but earnings fell by 11.4 per cent—the largest drop among the main sub-sectors.

Average weekly earnings, graph 

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