Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitoba wages up, payrolls down in mixed bag of economic news

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Manitoba vaulted past Quebec on the provincial earnings ladder after posting the biggest monthly increase in average weekly earnings in the country in November.

Statistics Canada said Thursday weekly earnings in Manitoba jumped by 3.3 per cent to $857.06 from $829.50 in October. The November total was also 2.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Quebec, meanwhile saw its weekly earnings drop by 2.7 per cent to $832.34 from $854.45 in October. November was also down 0.6 per cent from the year before.

Manitoba's gain, coupled with Quebec's decline, enabled Manitoba to leapfrog over Quebec into sixth place on the earnings ladder. The two provinces have been jockeying for position for some time, with Quebec having been in the sixth spot since last August.

Resource-rich Alberta and Saskatchewan continue to lead the provincial pack, with average weekly earnings of $1,131.40 and $967.45 respectively. The national average in November was $927.61 -- down 0.9 per cent from October but up 2.5 per cent from a year earlier.

Statistics Canada also released the payroll employee figures for November, and the news there wasn't as rosy for Manitoba.

The number of payroll employees -- people who work for someone as opposed to being self-employed -- declined by 1.9 per cent to 581,700 from 592,700 in October. However, November's total was still 0.8 per cent, or 4,600 employees, higher than it was in November of last year.

Nationally, the number of payroll employees fell 0.2 per cent from October to November -- 15.46 million versus 15.49 million -- but was still up 0.8 per cent from a year earlier.

 

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 31, 2014 B5

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