Average Hourly Earnings for Canadian Workers Rises to $34.95, Statistics Canada Says

by EditorK

A view of Centre Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the seat of Canada’s government, in a file photo. (Matthew Little/The Epoch Times)

Chandra Philip

By Chandra Philip

The average hourly rate for Canadian employees is just under $35, according to data from Statistics Canada.

That’s an increase of 4.7 percent or $1.57 year-over-year, the Labour Force Survey for April 2024 says, after a 5.1 percent in March.

StatsCan noted that the number of hours Canadians worked has also increased, by 0.8 percent in April, and 1.2 percent compared to 12 months earlier.

Just over a quarter of employees report having to go to work or connect to a work device at short notice several times a month, the report found.

Employment across Canada increased by 90,000 or 0.4 percent in April, staying at 61.4 percent after about six months of decline. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.1 percent.

The numbers could impact the Bank of Canada’s decision over whether to cut interest rates this summer, experts say.

“Certainly this raises the bar for a very near-term rate cut and I think it speaks to how the balance of risks really does support the Bank of Canada potentially waiting until July,” said Andrew Kelvin, chief Canada strategist at TD Securities.

“It would definitely give the bank pause if they were leaning to cut but I still think the real heavyweight indicator here is the next inflation reading” on May 21, BMO Capital Markets chief economics Doug Porter said.

Stephen Brown, deputy chief North America economist at Capital Economics, said the strong numbers gave the Bank of Canada time to see whether inflation would continue falling.

“That makes it more likely the Bank will wait until the late July meeting to cut interest rates, as there are three [inflation] reports ahead of that meeting but just one before the early June meeting,” he said in a note.

Employment Statistics

Statistics Canada says that while most provinces saw little change, there were four provinces that saw an increase in employment, including Ontario, where 25,000 jobs or 0.3 percent were added; British Columbia, adding 23,000 or 0.8 percent; Quebec, a jump of 19,000 or 0.4 percent; and New Brunswick, which saw 7,800 enter the workforce or 2 percent.Employment gains were made by men and women aged 25 to 54, accounting for 41,000 or 0.6 percent increase among men and 27,000 or 0.4 percent for women. Younger people, aged 15 to 24, also saw employment numbers rise to 39,000 or 2.8 percent.

Women over the age of 55 saw a 0.8 percent decline, or 16,000, and other age categories saw little change, the report said.

The number of professional, scientific, and technical jobs increased by 26,000 or 1.3 percent in April, with accommodation and food services close behind with 24,000 new workers or 2.2 percent. Health care and social assistance industries saw an additional 17,000 employees hired or 0.6 percent, and natural resources added 7,700 jobs, or 2.3 percent. However, utilities saw a drop of 5,000 workers or 3.1 percent.

A large part of the gain was in part-time employment, which added 50,000 jobs or 1.4 percent, Statistics Canada said. The economy has added 104,000 jobs or 2.9 percent since April 2023. Full-time jobs have risen by 1.7 percent or 273,000.

In the private sector, employment rose 0.4 percent—adding 50,000 jobs to the economy, after four months of little change. The public sector saw a 0.6 percent change or 26,000 for April. Year-over-year numbers show that employment in the public sector increased by 208,000 or 4.9 percent over 2023. The private sector saw a 1.4 percent change last year, adding 190,000 more workers to the mix.

Statistics Canada said that self-employment levels did not change much in April or from 2023.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Chandra Philip is a news reporter with the Canadian edition of The Epoch Times.

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