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Gabriella Makar, MBA
RE/MAX Elite
14717 40 AV, Edmonton, Alberta
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - Not All Wages Rising

Average hourly earnings in Alberta continue to rise and now outpace the national average by about 10%. But hourly earnings are not rising for everyone in Alberta, and in fact, for some of the lowest-income workers, earnings are shrinking.

The average hourly earnings of Albertans working in food and accommodation industries were $13.37 in March of 2010. That is the lowest of all industries in the province, where employees earned on average $25.23 per hour.

Between 2006 and 2009, earnings in this industry took off, rising by almost 27% as labour shortages gripped all sectors of the province. At that time, every restaurant, fast food outlet, and hotel was scrambling for workers. High wages and some creative incentives were dangled in front of potential employees. Earnings reached a peak above $15 per hour in mid-2009.

But when the recession caught up to the labour market, earnings in the food and accommodation sector came crashing down. Over the past 18 months, average hourly earnings fell 11%.

This is in contrast to average hourly earnings across all industries, which have generally continued to rise (albeit at a slower pace). Part of this can be explained by earnings in food and accommodation being hourly; salaried positions in higher-wage industries may take longer to reduce. There are also fewer unionized workers under collective wage agreements in food and accommodation, which makes it easier for employers to adjust wages downward more quickly.*

Todd Hirsch, ATB Daily Economic Comment. For more on this issue, visit

posted in General at Tue, 03 May 2011 15:11:10 +0000

Data last Updated: 2021-01-22 at 04:53:22 GMT America/Edmonton
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