Calgary

Alberta earnings fall, but still stand 16.8% above national average

Albertans earned an average of $1,119 per week in June, according to Statistics Canada, which is down 2.4 per cent from a year earlier, but still ahead of every other province.

Province's average weekly earnings down, year over year, to $1,119 but above national average of $958

Construction was among the sectors in Alberta that saw employment and earnings decreases in June, compared to a year earlier, according to Statistics Canada. (Canadian Press)

Albertans earned an average of $1,119 per week in June, according to Statistics Canada, which is down 2.4 per cent from a year earlier, but still ahead of every other province.

Alberta was the only province to see a year-over-year decline in June.

Every other province saw an increase in weekly earnings, led by New Brunswick's three per cent growth to $879 and Ontario's two per cent growth to $981.

Click on this interactive graph to see average weekly earnings, by province, for the past decade:

Most employment sectors in Alberta saw year-over-year decreases in June earnings, according to Statistics Canada, but some sectors were hit harder than others.

"The overall decline over this period was mainly due to a combination of employment and earnings decreases in professional, scientific and technical services, construction and wholesale trade," the federal agency said in a release.

Earnings peaked in Alberta at $1,172 in January 2015 and have been on a largely downward trend since, although they were up slightly in June as compared to May.

Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, said Alberta's average weekly earnings tend to be pulled up by workers on the higher end of the income scale.

Todd Hirsch is chief economist with ATB Financial, a provincially owned Crown corporation in Alberta. (ATB Financial)

"At the high end of the scale you have people in oil and gas earning about $2,200 (a week) … but at the low end of the scale are workers in food and accommodation and retail, who are making closer to $400 or $500 a week," he said.

"That's because a lot of those jobs are low skill, but a lot of them are also part-time jobs."

Albertans have historically made more money than Canadians as a whole and that gap continued in June, with the province's average earnings standing 16.8 per cent above the national average.

That's down from a high of 23.8 per cent in October 2014, but still well above the spread of 8.5 per cent in June 2006.

with files from Dave Gilson

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now