Compared to November 2018, British Columbians have been earning more over the past 12 months, but still earn less than the corresponding figure (Black Press Media File).

Weekly earnings on the rise in B.C., but remain behind the rest of Canada

Non-farm payroll employees in British Columbia earned an average of $1,011 per week in November 2019

British Columbians saw their earnings rise in November 2019 compared to the same period 12 months ago, according to new figures from Statistics Canada. But those figures also show that British Columbians do not earn as much as Canadians elsewhere.

Non-farm payroll employees in British Columbia earned an average of $1,011 per week in November 2019, up 3.2 per cent the year before. Higher earnings in health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services, as well as educational services, mainly at universities, accounted for this increase.

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But compared to the rest of the country, British Columbians earned less than other Canadians. National figures show that the average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees topped out at $1,042 in November 2019 – $31 higher than the rate for B.C. This said, British Columbians appear to be somewhat catching up, as the rise in national earnings lagged by 0.1 per cent behind the rate for B.C.

Looking at the broader picture, weekly earnings grew in eight of Canada’s 10 largest industrial sectors (in terms of employment), led by administrative and support services. Smaller sectors including utilities and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction saw increases, while others (wholesale trade and construction) experienced stagnation.

But earnings declined in two sectors of some importance to British Columbia: real estate and ancillary industries, as well as forestry, logging and support. These developments appear to confirm the softening real estate market across British Columbia, and the broader, some might say familiar, struggles facing single-industry communities in the provincial hinterland outside the metropolitan areas of Greater Victoria, Greater Vancouver, and the Fraser Valley.


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