Money may not buy happiness, but plenty of Albertans are finding their earnings still purchase an awful lot! Not only do they enjoy the hottest job market in the country at the moment, they’re also paid better than anywhere else
In August, the average weekly earnings of employees in Alberta topped $1,084—far above the national average and higher by a significant margin than wages in the second-place province, Newfoundland and Labrador. Average weekly earnings nationally were $907.19.
But if earnings are tops in Alberta, they are nonetheless growing at a slower pace than most other provinces. Compared to a year ago, earnings in Alberta are higher by 3.2 per cent, compared to the
national average of 3.6 per cent. And in Newfoundland and Labrador—already in second place—earnings are soaring by an astounding 8.1 per cent.
These figures are part of Statistics Canada’s monthly Survey of Employment, Payroll and
Hours. It is a survey of businesses, so it counts only those Canadians who are employed by those
businesses. It does not include the self-employed, or those who are unemployed.
The high average earnings in Alberta are the primary reason why the province is increasingly
the destination of choice for job seekers from other parts of the country. Inter-provincial migration in
2012 is ramping back up to levels not seen since 2006. But for some new Albertans, those higher
paycheques won’t go as far as they would back home. Alberta can be an expensive place to live.*
*Courtesy of Todd Hirsch, Senior Economist, ATB Financial