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Despite drop, weekly earnings in province up over last year

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Manitoba was one of seven provinces to see a drop in average weekly earnings from August to September, new Statistics Canada figures show.

The agency said the weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees — people who work for someone, as opposed to being self-employed — fell by 0.5 per cent to $835.53 from $839.92 in August.

But despite the decline, they were still 3.5 per cent higher than a year earlier, when they were $807.30.

The decline left Manitoba with the sixth-highest average weekly earnings among the provinces, ahead Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Alberta continues to have the highest, at $1,085.22.

Statistics Canada said Manitoba also had 4,100 fewer payroll employees in September than in August — 575,900 versus 580,000. But despite the 0.7 per cent decline, that was still 10,700 more workers than in September 2011, when there were 565,200.

Nationally, average weekly earnings were down 0.5 per cent from August to September — $902.29 versus $906.77 — but up 3.4 per cent from a year earlier, Statistics Canada said.

The number of payroll employees fell by 0.3 per cent from August to September — 15.28 million versus 15.33 million— but was still 1.6 per cent higher than a year ago.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

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