Construction Union Wage Rate Index

Detailed information for February 2017





Record number:


The Construction Union Wage Rate Index measures monthly changes over time in the collective agreement hourly rates, where they exist, for 16 trades engaged in building construction in 22 metropolitan areas.

Data release - March 23, 2017


The Construction Union Wage Rate Index measures monthly changes over time in the collective agreement hourly rates, where they exist, for 16 trades engaged in building construction in 22 metropolitan areas. These series can be employed in several ways, including keeping users abreast of pay scale changes within the unionized construction work force, identifying differences between trades and between regions, incorporating them into the escalation clauses of construction contracts and time series analysis.

Reference period: The time period for which the Construction Union Wage Rate Index equals 100; currently this is the year 2007.

Collection period: Monthly, during the month following the reference month.


  • Construction
  • Construction price indexes
  • Labour
  • Prices and price indexes
  • Unionization and industrial relations
  • Wages, salaries and other earnings

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The universe consists of all construction unions for all trades across Canada.

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.


This is a sample survey with a longitudinal design.

While there exist many constructions trade categories, only 16 trades are actually tracked over time. These 16 trade groups are chosen on the basis of their high importance to the construction industry. For each trade group, a census is taken, as one trade group in a province is represented by one union.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

There is no questionnaire for the Construction Union Wage Rate Index. The data are obtained from the wage rates and supplements information contained in the collective agreements that have been signed and are in place in the various jurisdictions. Collection for the Construction Union Wage Rate Index consists of telephone contacts and consulting the web sites of various construction labour relations associations for each province. Summaries of the signed agreements for the relevant trades are provided to Statistics Canada.

Error detection

The data are verified by the survey analyst and any inconsistencies are clarified with the respondent.


During periods where agreements are under negotiation and current contracts have expired, the last prevailing rates are carried forward until a new agreement is in place.



The weights used are based on the product of the number of workers employed in each trade and in each metropolitan area, as derived from 2006 Census data, and the 2007 average of the hourly rates of each trade in each metropolitan area. A fixed-basket Laspeyres index formula is used in the calculation of the indexes.


Two rates are indexed: basic rates, indicating the straight time hourly compensation; and basic rates including supplements, such as vacation pay, statutory holiday pay, pension contribution, and employers' contribution to private plans, health and welfare plans, industry promotion and training funds. Wage rates used for these indexes are derived mainly from those published in the various collective agreements.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Collected data are converted to a price index and data are released as such, so that it is not possible to identify the suppliers of the original raw price information.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Given the length of time that can transpire between the expiration of a contract and the ratification of a new agreement, the revision period for the wage rates and indexes is 30 months.

Data accuracy

The weight information was derived from the Statistics Canada 2006 Census, while the rate information is obtained from administrative data. Both sources of input are subject to their own errors.

Due to survey methodology of the Construction Union Wage Rate Index, confidence intervals are not currently estimated. Indexes for higher and lower levels of aggregation are considered to be statistically reliable.


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