Earnings in Alberta Keep Rising

May 29, 2014

Weekly earnings in Alberta are the highest they’ve been in almost a year, according to a report released this morning from Statistics Canada.Average weekly earnings rose close 4.9% in a year, landing at $1,147.14 in March. That’s the highest in Canada and a record high for the province. Alberta’s rate of consumer price inflation in March was 3.9%.

The figure comes from Statistics Canada’s monthly survey of employees. Average weekly earnings are for employees in all sectors, including overtime pay. It is calculated before taxes and deductions. The report covers the income of employees only—it does not include the average earnings of the self-employed.

Alberta employee earnings have outpaced the rest of Canada for years but the gap appears to be widening. The 4.9% annual increase in March compares with a more modest increase of 3.1% for employees across Canada. A year ago, Alberta earnings were 17% above the national average; now they are 19% higher. There is an enormous gap between employees within Alberta as well. The highest paid employees are in oil and gas where workers earn on average $2,201 per week. At the other end of the spectrum are workers in accommodation and food services who earn only $431 per week.

Todd Hirsch • Chief Economist