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Wages move closer to pre-recession highs

Wages move closer to pre-recession highs

Posted on: 7/26/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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The employment situation is still tough for many Albertans, but for those who are fortunate enough to have kept working or found a job since the end of the recession, wages continue to move closer to their pre-recession highs.

In May, the average weekly earnings of Alberta employees was $1,150. This figure is adjusted for seasonality and includes overtime pay but excludes taxes. May’s figure was 15 per cent above the national average earnings of $998 per week. Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario ranked second and third behind Alberta with average earnings of $1,041 and $1,016, respectively.

Even though earnings were down on a monthly basis (-0.2 per cent), the survey of employers shows that the take home pay of Albertans was up 3.4 per cent compared to May of last year. The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector contributed the most to the earnings growth. The survey data show that both employment and earnings rose in this sector in May. Earnings also increased in retail trade while employment in the sector was virtually unchanged.

Wages are only $20 off their highs of $1,171 per week reached back in January of 2015, shortly before the recession shook the province. As the province’s economy continues to improve, working Albertans can expect to see larger paycheques in the coming months. This rise in wages is reason for consumers to be optimistic about the performance of the provincial economy.

Average weekly earnings, graph

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