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Strong Increases in Employment Earnings Recorded in August 2010

According to a newly released report from Statistics Canada, the average weekly employment earnings rose 4.4% to $860.67 from August 2009 to August 2010. This is seen as a sign of strength in the economy, because the last time this growth exceeded 4% was in February 2008.

August 2010 marked the 5th consecutive month for which the increase rose above 3%. This is a slight increase over 2009 in which growth was below 2% for most of the year. This is another sign that the job market situation this year was better than last.

In the past year ending in August average weekly earnings grew in all provinces. Growth was above the national average in several provinces: Alberta (+7.5%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+6/2%), Saskatchewan (+6.0%), and Ontario (4.7%). New Brunswick (+0.6%) had the smallest earnings growth.

The transportation and warehousing sectors had increases in weekly earnings of 7.2% from $839.67 to $900.03. These sectors had just under 670,000 employees in August ranking them the 12th largest of 20 sectors in terms of payroll employment.

Average weekly earnings in the oil, mining and gas extraction sectors were $1,538.75 in August 2009. Earnings since then have risen 17.1% to $1,801.18. Payroll employment in these fields has risen 10.2% to 189,800 employees from 172,300 a year ago.

The number of non-farm payroll employees has increased 1.7% (+243,700) since August 2009. The health care and social assistance sectors saw their numbers rise 2.6% (+41,700) since last year. Employment in administrative and support services increased 2.4% (+17,000) while jobs in the construction industry also rose 4.1% (+32,100) during the same period.

An average work week for both hourly and salaried employees was 32.9 hours unchanged from the previous year.