04/26/2012 02:26 EDT | Updated 06/26/2012 05:12 EDT

Wage hikes fail to keep pace with inflation

The average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees in Canada rose 1.8 per cent in the year ended February, but they failed to keep pace with inflation.

Statistics Canada reported Thursday that the average weekly paycheque in Canada was $886.45 in February, rising 0.2 per cent from the previous month and 1.8 per cent from the same month a year earlier.

Inflation was 2.6 per cent in February.

The growth in weekly earnings was slowed by a fourth straight monthly decline in hours worked, the federal data agency said.

Wages increased in every province over the past year, but growth was above the national average in six provinces, with Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador leading the way.

By sector, wage growth in the construction and wholesale trade sectors outpaced the national average.