Average Alberta wages are higher in big cities, northwest

If you live in the Red Deer region and want to boost your income, a move to Calgary, Edmonton or even northwestern Alberta might be in order.

If you live in the Red Deer region and want to boost your income, a move to Calgary, Edmonton or even northwestern Alberta might be in order.

That’s a conclusion that could be drawn from a recent survey of wages and salaries across the province.

Commissioned by Alberta Employment and Immigration, the survey involved 6,269 employers who reported on 50,096 positions affecting 344,454 employees. It concluded that the average wage rate in Alberta was $23.80 per hour, ranging from $9.55 for food and beverage servers to $44.29 for construction managers.

Regional averages were reported for 19 industry categories, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail trade, educational services, health care and social assistance, and public administration.

In the Red Deer region, the lowest average hourly wage was recorded in the accommodation and food services category, at $11.19 an hour. The highest was in manufacturing, at $33.23.

Of the 19 categories, two — mining, and forestry, logging, fishing and hunting — did not generate results for this area.

For the remaining 17, Calgary was found to have higher hourly average wages than the Red Deer region in 15. Edmonton was higher in 14 and the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake area topped this region in 13.

The Athabasca-Peace River-Grande Prairie and Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House areas each had 10 vocational categories with higher average wages than the Red Deer region, while Camrose-Drumheller was higher in nine and Lethbridge-Medicine Hat in six.

The survey was conducted between January and May of this year, and involved private and public sector employers with eight or more workers.