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September 27, 2012
CALGARY, AB, Sep 27, 2012/ Troy Media/ – Stagnant inflation plus rising wages equal a higher material standard of living. By themselves, money and things don’t buy happiness, but they certainly don’t put you in a bad mood – unless, of course, you’re the one materially responsible for paying those higher wages.
Average weekly wages continued to go higher in July, according to Statistics Canada. Nationally, wages were up 4.1 per cent over last year, hitting $906/week. Alberta was up 6.1 per cent to $1,095/week, but it was flat Saskatchewan where wages rose the fastest over the year, up 7.1 per cent to $929/week.
Wages have been rising across the board in Alberta, but it’s the energy sector where they’re rising quickly, and from an already high base. Average wages (not seasonally adjusted) in the oil and gas sector hit $2,409/week, up 7 per cent over last year and up 29 per cent over four years ago. Support activities for oil and gas have moved in near lock step, hitting $1,651/week, up 9 and 22 per cent over the same periods.
It may be difficult to feel too bad for energy companies that face ever-rising wage bills, but even they have limits on their ability to pay. Now, we don’t know what those limits are, but they do exist. And we do know a broader pull back in investment spending by oil and gas companies for any reason has a pretty dramatic impact on Alberta’s economy.
| ATB Financial
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