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

April 25, 2024

Monthly (February 2024 vs January 2024, seasonally adjusted)

Nova Scotia had 450,942 payroll employees in February 2024, down 0.5% (-2,092) compared to January 2024. Canada had 18.07 million employees, down 0.1% from January 2024. There were gains in four provinces, led Prince Edward Island. The largest decline was reported in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotians' average weekly earnings were $1,095.94 in February of 2024, an increase of $0.98 (+0.1%) from revised January 2024 results.  


Nationally, average weekly earnings were $1,232.44, an increase of 0.5% (+$6.05) from average weekly earnings in January 2024. All provinces reported gains in average weekly earnings, with the largest gain in Prince Edward Island while the slowest gains were in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.

Nova Scotia's average weekly earnings in February 2024 were second lowest among provinces (ahead of only Prince Edward Island). Alberta reported the highest average weekly earnings.

Nova Scotia's average weekly earnings were highest in professional and technical services, company management, information and culture, and finance and insurance industries. The lowest average weekly earnings were reported in Nova Scotia's accommodations and food service industries, arts, entertainment and recreation, and retail trade.

In February 2024, Nova Scotia's average weekly wages were 88.9% of the national average. Nova Scotia average weekly wages were below the comparable national average for every industry except health/social assistance services. The smallest gaps were in personal/repair services, accommodation/food services, retail trade, and professional/ technical services. The largest gap was in forestry/logging (74.9% of the national average).

Year-over-year (February 2024 vs February 2023)

Compared with the same month in 2023, Nova Scotia's payroll employment grew by 1.0% (+4,631) in February 2024. This was higher than the national average gain of 0.9%. All provinces reported growth in payroll employment except Newfoundland and Labrador, with the fastest gains in Prince Edward Island and Alberta.

Among the industries reported by Statistics Canada, Nova Scotia's largest industries of employment were health care/social assistance (which includes daycares), followed by retail trade and education.

Information/culture as well as health care/social assistance had the fastest year-over-year growth in payroll employment in Nova Scotia. Forestry/logging reported the largest percentage decline in payroll employment. 

Average weekly wages grew by 5.0% in Nova Scotia from February 2023 to February 2024. This was stronger than the national pace of 4.5%.

Average weekly wages grew by 4.5% across Canada from February 2023 to February 2024. There were gains in each province, with the fastest rise in Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia. Alberta and Saskatchewan reported the slowest gains.

Average weekly wages were down 3.7% in Nova Scotia's goods-producing industries and up 7.2% in Nova Scotia's services-producing industries. Most of the industries reported year-over-year growth in average weekly wages with the largest increases in information/culture as well as personal/repair services and health/social assistance. Average weekly wages were down in real estate/rental/leasing and education industries.


Year-to-date (January-February 2024 vs January-February 2023)

In January-February 2024, Nova Scotia's payroll employment increased 1.3% over January-February 2023. Across Canada, payroll employment growth was 1.0% with gains in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador. Alberta reported the fastest rise in payroll employment.

In January-February 2024, arts/entertainment/recreation, health/social assistance as well as information/culture and construction industries reported the fastest employment growth in percentage terms compared to the same period in 2023. Forestry/logging and administrative support/call centres reported the largest percentage declines. 

In January-February 2024, Nova Scotia's average weekly earnings increased by 5.6% compared to the same period in 2023. National average weekly earnings were up 4.1% in the first two months of the year with gains in all provinces. British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island reported the fastest gains in average weekly earnings while Alberta and Saskatchewan reported the slowest rises.

In January-February 2024, information/culture, health/social assistance, and accommodation/food services reported the fastest percentage gains in average weekly earnings compared to the same period in 2023. Average weekly earnings of finance/insurance services were unchanged.

In January-February 2024, Nova Scotia's average weekly earnings were highest in professional and technical services industries. Nova Scotians' average weekly earnings averaged 89.1% of the national value for all industries in January-February 2024. All Nova Scotia industries reported average weekly earnings below their national counterparts except health/social assistance. The gaps were narrowest in accommodation/food services as well as retail trade. Public administration, transportation, and real estate/rental/leasing workers in Nova Scotia reported the largest gaps in average weekly earnings compared with the national average for the industry. 


Source: Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0222-01 Employment, average hourly and weekly earnings (including overtime), and average weekly hours for the industrial aggregate excluding unclassified businesses, monthly, seasonally adjustedTable 14-10-0223-01 Employment and average weekly earnings (including overtime) for all employees by province and territory, monthly, seasonally adjusted

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