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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

November 29, 2018

Nova Scotians' average weekly earnings (including overtime, seasonally adjusted) increased by $1.45 per week (0.2 per cent) from August 2018 to $878.51 in September.  Average weekly wages were up 1.1 per cent compared with September of last year. Canadians' average weekly wages decreased 0.2 per cent month to month ($1,004.09 in September 2018), and were 1.8 per cent higher than they were a year ago. 

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 decreased  0.2 per cent, with increases in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario (up $0.49) and Saskatchewan. Compared to September 2017, all provinces saw increases in average weekly earnings except Newfoundland and Labrador (down $0.29). The largest increase in percentage terms was reported in PEI and British Columbia (both +2.7 per cent).

Year to date, average weekly earnings are up 2.8 per cent nationally, with all provinces reporting increases. Nova Scotia's average weekly earnings are up 0.9 per cent (YTD) compared to the first nine months of 2017. 

In the first nine months of the year, average weekly earnings are up 1.8 per cent in Nova Scotia's goods producing sectors compared to January-September 2017.  Goods sector wage growth was primarily due to growth in the construction sector while manufacturing wages were up less, compared to the same period last year.  Service sector earnings were up 0.6 per cent, year to date. Service sector earnings increased the most in percentage terms in the "other services" category. There have been declines in average weekly earnings in information and cultural services, administrative and support services, accommodation and food services, and education. 


Nova Scotia had 415,045 payroll employees in September, up 0.1 per cent compared the previous month, and up 1.1 per cent compared to last September. Canada had 16.7 million employees, up 0.1 per cent from last month and up 1.8 per cent compared to a year ago. 

Nova Scotia's payroll employment has been generally trending upwards since 2014. 

Year to date, payroll employment is up 2.2 per cent across Canada. The fastest payroll employment growth has been observed in British Columbia (+3.8 per cent) and Quebec (+2.4 per cent). Nova Scotia's payroll employment is up 1.2 per cent (YTD) compared to the first nine months of 2017.

REFERENCE TABLES - Year to Date (January-September 2018 vs. January-September 2017)

Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Employment, Payroll, and Hours. Table 14-10-0223-01, 14-10-0222-01

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