By: Glenn Wilkins - Thursday, February 23, 2017 Weekly Earnings Improve Slightly Advertisment The lot of Canadian workers was slightly better in December, according to figures released Thursday morning by Statistics Canada. The agency reported average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees were $971.00 in December, an increase of 1% from November and 1.2% from 12 months earlier. It also says payroll employees averaged 32.8 hours per week in December, little changed from the previous month but down from 33.3 hours in December 2015. Average weekly hours have been on a downward trend since the beginning of 2016. In the 12 months to December, average weekly earnings increased in two of the 10 largest industrial sectors: construction and educational services. At the same time, earnings declined in retail trade, while there was little change in the remaining large sectors. Average weekly earnings in construction were up 2.5% from December 2015 to $1,234.00, boosted by increases in the heavy and civil engineering construction sub-sector. Gains in earnings were spread across several provinces, with notable growth in British Columbia and Quebec. On a year-over-year basis, average weekly earnings in educational services grew 2.5% to $1,042.00. Increases in earnings were spread across most industries in this sector. Average weekly earnings in retail trade fell 2.1% to $566.00 in the 12 months to December.