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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

July 25, 2019

Nova Scotians' average weekly earnings (including overtime, seasonally adjusted) increased by $5.84 per week (0.7 per cent) from April 2019 to $898.85 in May 2019.  Average weekly wages were up 3.5 per cent compared with May of last year. Canadians' average weekly wages increased 1.1 per cent month to month ($1,031.00 in May) and were 3.4 per cent higher than they were a year ago. The average weekly wage increase in May was the largest month to month percentage gain for Canada since March 2007.

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 rose 1.1 per cent, with increases in 9 of 10 provinces. Compared to the previous month, Alberta (3.4 per cent) had the largest increase in May, while Newfoundland (-1.4 per cent) had the only decrease.

Compared to a year ago, average wages are higher in all provinces, with the largest increases in percentage terms reported in Saskatchewan (5.8 per cent), British Columbia (4.3 per cent) and New Brunswick (4.2 per cent).

Comparing the first five months of 2019 with the same period in 2018, average weekly earnings have increased 3.6 per cent in Nova Scotia, the fastest growth among the provinces. Nationally, average weekly earnings have increased 2.2 per cent year-to-date.

In Jan-May 2019 (compared to Jan-May 2018), average weekly earnings are up 3.8 per cent in Nova Scotia's goods producing sectors.  Goods sector wages were up for manufacturing and construction sectors; data for the other goods sectors are suppressed. Service sector earnings were up 3.6 per cent in the first five months of 2019. Service sector earnings increased the most in percentage terms in Professional, Scientific and Technical services (+8.4 per cent), Information and Cultural services (+8.0 per cent), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (+6.4 per cent). There have been declines in average weekly earnings in Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (-5.9 percent), and Accommodation and Food services (-0.7 per cent).



Nova Scotia had 422,487 payroll employees in May, mostly unchanged (-0.03 per cent) compared to last month, and up 2.7 per cent compared to last May. Canada had 16.9 million employees, up 0.2 per cent from last month and up 2.1 per cent compared to a year ago. 

Nova Scotia's payroll employment has been trending upwards since 2017. 

Year-to-date, Canada’s and Nova Scotia's payroll employment are up 2.3 and 2.4 per cent, respectively. The fastest payroll employment growth has been observed in Prince Edward Island (3.9 per cent), followed by New Brunswick (3.0 per cent) and British Columbia (2.8 per cent).


REFERENCE TABLES - (January-May 2019 vs January-May 2018)


Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Employment, Payroll, and Hours. Table 14-10-0223-0114-10-0222-01 

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