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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Canadian wage gains outpace inflation

ORA MORISON

The Globe and Mail

canadian wagesOn average, Canadians brought home more cash in May, and earnings continued to grow faster than inflation.

Statistics Canada reported Thursday that average weekly earnings crept up 0.5 per cent in May compared with April, and that gains were felt in all provinces. The average worker made $894.61 per week — a 2.5 per cent increase compared with last year, and well above the 1.2 per cent rate of inflation recorded for May, 2012.

Wages grew over the year, but there were also changes to employment composition by industry, occupation and job experience that contributed to the higher average wage, Statistics Canada said in its release. Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction led employment growth for the year at 6.8 per cent. The sector employed 218,000 people in May, who made on average $1,791.45 per week.

People worked the same 32.9 hours per week as they did in April and last May, so working longer overtime hours wasn’t a factor in the wage gains, the agency said.

Retail trade employees, who numbered 1,867,500 across the country in May and are typically among the lowest paid, got a raise. They averaged a 4 per cent wage increase in May, bringing their average pay to $536.89 per week.

Construction workers experienced the largest percentage increase of the largest sectors over the year. Their average weekly earnings shot up 5.3 per cent to $1,133.09 over the year, followed by those working in education, who experienced an average 4.3 per cent rise and made about $990 per week.

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