Worker Wearing Medical Face Mask and Hard Hat Carries Cardboard Box Walks Through Retail Warehouse full of Shelves with Goods.

Wages rose in August but continued to trail consumer inflation, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

The national statistical agency reported that payroll employment edged down by 0.1% in August, led by declines in the construction sector and retail trade.

Average weekly earnings rose by 3.2% on an annual basis in August, which marked an acceleration from a 3.0% annual gain in July.

However, the rise in wages remained well below the inflation rate. The Consumer Price Index was up 7.0% in August, StatsCan said.

Both average weekly hours worked and job vacancy numbers were largely unchanged in August, it noted.

Overall, job vacancies dropped slightly to 958,500 from 964,000 in July, but remained higher than in August 2021, when vacancies sat at 919,200.

While job vacancies remained hardly changed in the accommodation and food services, construction and manufacturing sectors, they hit a record high in the health-care and social assistance sectors, rising 6.4% in August, and up 19.4% on an annual basis.

“Staff shortages in health care and social assistance contributed to many hospitals announcing temporary reductions in some services in July and August, including the temporary closure of some emergency rooms,” StatsCan said.