Canadian paycheques on the rise: Here's what we're earning at the start of 2013

Industry News & Insights Cashing a paycheque

Statistics Canada has just released their report on payroll and earnings for December 2012. It turns out that year over year, the average Canadian salary was up by 2.8% to roughly $47,200 or just over $900 a week. When this report came out last year, we were bringing home $883 a week, or $46,000 a year.

Salaries by industry

Five key industries stood out by showing year-over-year salary gains that are greater than the national average. Professional, scientific and technical services; health care and social assistance; and manufacturing all saw the biggest pay increases in 2012.

Average earnings in professional, scientific and technical services increased 5.9% to $1,263 a week in 2012 or roughly $65,675 a year. The largest growth was seen in advertising, public relations, and related services; computer systems design and related services; and legal services.

Salaries in health care and social assistance were up by 5.1% to $835 a week or an average of $43,420 a year. The most significant growth occurred in hospitals and in nursing and residential care facilities.

In manufacturing, weekly earnings rose 4.8% to $1,040, or just over $54,000 a year.

The average weekly earnings in public administration increased 3.3% to $1,161, with the largest gains in local, municipal and regional and Aboriginal public administration. This brings average salaries in this sector up to just over $60,000 a year.

In accommodation and food services, weekly earnings rose 2.9% to $371 or $19,300 a year. This growth was led by slightly higher wages in full-service restaurants; traveller accommodation; and drinking places.

Regional changes in salary

Saskatchewan saw the greatest increases in salaries last year with the average weekly earnings going up by 5% to $936. This brings the average wage in that province to $48,670. The main contributors to this increase were health care and social assistance; accommodation and food services as well as professional, scientific and technical services.

Alberta had the next largest gains, with earnings rising by 4.2% from December 2011 to December 2012 to $1,094 a week or $56,880 per year. This earnings level is at least 17% higher than that of any other province.

Compared with 12 months earlier, Canada’s two biggest provinces saw earnings growth that was lower than the national average. In Ontario, average weekly earnings grew by 2.2% to $919 or $47,780 a year, and in Quebec, salaries increased by just 1.6% to $832 or an average salary of 43,260 per year.

You can read the full Stats Can report here

Peter Harris

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  • Derek R

    So what kind of average are we talking about? Median? Arithmetic mean? Geometric mean? Or should I read the report to find that out?

  • Derek R

    Okay, the report definitions says “Average weekly earnings are derived by dividing total weekly earnings by the total number of employees.” so I guess that indicates the arithmetic mean.