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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Barbara Ruszel Economist
Tel: 902-424-1848Email:

February 23, 2018

Nova Scotians' average weekly earnings (including overtime, seasonally adjusted) decreased by $7.33 per week (-0.8 per cent) from November to $863.48 in December.  Average weekly wages are 0.9 per cent higher than in December of last year. Canadians' average weekly wages were up 0.2 per cent from November to $992.87  in December, up 2.3 per cent from the same month in 2016.  

Changes in average weekly earnings reflect wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry/occupation/experience; and average hours worked per week.

Across the country, monthly average weekly wages were up 0.2 per cent, reflecting increases in six provinces (Quebec was virtually unchanged).  Comparing the latest results with December 2016, all provinces saw increases in average weekly earnings, the largest increase in percentage terms occurring in Quebec (+3.9%). 

Preliminiary annual estimates show that average weekly wages have been growing fastest in Quebec, Manitoba and BC. Nova Scotia's average weekly wages have averaged 1.5 per cent above the levels reported over the 12 month average in 2016.   

Average weekly earnings are up 2.1 per cent in Nova Scotia's goods producing sectors, comparing the preliminary annual numbers for 2017 with those from 2016.  Growth in goods sector wages were led by the construction sector while manufacturing wages were up slightly (0.6%).  Service sector earnings were up more slowly at 1.3 per cent for 2017.  Service sector earnings were up faster in management, finance/insurance, personal/repair (other services), administration / support services, transportation, education and health care and accommodations and food services.  There have been declines in average weekly earnings in wholesale/retail trade, information/culture and real estate/rentals. 


Nova Scotia had 409,049 payroll employees in December, a 0.4 per cent increase from November, and a 1.1 per cent increase from levels observed in December of last year. Canada had 16.4 million employees, up 0.2 per cent from November, and 2.0 per cent above levels observed in December 2016.

Nova Scotia's payroll employment has been trending upwards since 2014. Annual average estimates for 2017 are 1.0 per cent higher than in 2016.

Payroll employment is up 1.9 per cent across Canada (preliminary annual estimates).  The fastest payroll employment growth has been observed in Prince Edward Island, BC, and Ontario.  Nova Scotia's payroll employment is up 1.0 per cent over 2016.

 REFERENCE TABLES - Preliminary Annual Estimates (Jan-Dec)

Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Employment, Payroll, and Hours. CANSIM Table 281-0063, 281-0049

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