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Wages in Alberta: Part I Highest paid workers see earnings trimmed

Wages in Alberta: Part I Highest paid workers see earnings trimmed

Posted on: 11/13/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Paycheques help to buy groceries, fuel cars and pay for housing. But the size of those paycheques differs enormously in our province. Today The Owl examines wages of the highest paid workers in Alberta: those who work in oil and gas.

Average weekly earnings for employees in Alberta was $1,134 in August, the last month for which data is available. That figure is adjusted for seasonality and includes overtime pay (but excludes taxes and deductions). It’s the highest of any province and 16 per cent higher than the national average.

Employees in our province’s resources sector, however, enjoy earnings roughly double the provincial average, and 137 per cent of the national average. The heavy lines in the graph below show the one- month trend for earnings of oil and gas workers, compared to the provincial average.

While they are high, wages in the oilpatch have moderated over the last year. Between the record high of nearly $2,400 per week, earnings fell 10 per cent in early 2017. Energy companies were gradually hiring workers back, but at lower pay, as they struggled to reduce their labour and operating costs. Since earlier this year, wages have once again started to grow.

On Tuesday, The Owl will look at the other end of the pay scale to see how earnings of low-income Albertans have—or have not—kept pace.

Alberta weekly average earnings, graph

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