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Managers' earnings gains topping inflation rate

File photo of job seekers lining up at a job fair in Toronto.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Earnings are climbing faster than the rate of inflation in most sectors in Canada -- but they're soaring in two sectors in particular: management and forestry.

Managers in companies have seen earnings jump 11.3 per cent in the past year. That amounts to average weekly earnings of $1,276.59, including overtime, as of March compared with $1,257.35 a year earlier, according to Statistics Canada's payrolls data out Wednesday. That's the biggest increase, percentage-wise, of any sector save forestry and logging, where pay also rose 11.3 per cent (to $1,089.17) as demand picks up.

Managers may be earning more, but they don't top the list of sectors with the loftiest earnings. Mining and energy has the highest weekly pay, at $1,869.23 while utilities along with professional and scientific services come next.

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Across Canada, average earnings are up 3.1 per cent from last year, the same annual pace as a month earlier and well above the current rate of inflation of 0.4 per cent. On average, weekly earnings in Canada amount to $914.80 a week. The lowest-paid sector is accommodation and food services, where pay averages just $375.48 a week.

Workers in four industries are seeing pay actually slide from last year's levels. Earnings have fallen in utilities, retail trade, and arts and entertainment. The biggest slide, at 2.7 per cent, is in real estate -- reflecting slower activity in the housing market.

Hours worked, meantime, are little changed, with non-farm payroll employers working on average 33 hours a week compared with 32.9 hours a year earlier.

As for provinces, Saskatchewan has the highest increase in earnings, followed by Alberta. By contrast in New Brunswick, earnings are 0.2 per cent lower than a year ago.

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About the Author

Tavia Grant has worked at The Globe and Mail since early 2005, covering topics from employment and currency markets to trade, microfinance and Latin American economies. She previously worked for Bloomberg News in Toronto and Zurich, writing on mining, stocks, currencies and secret Swiss bank accounts. More

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