CALGARY -- Alberta’s average wage increased by 2.5 per cent over the same period last year according to new numbers from Statistics Canada.

But ATB FInancial’s managing director of economics says that’s not the good news it appears to be.

“It’s not because the economy is hot and employers are paying more,” says ATB’s Rob Roach. “[It’s that] lower wage workers have been taken out of the equation.”

Alberta’s unemployment sits at 10.7 per cent, down a full percentage point from September. Job losses have been most significant among people age 15 to 24.

The oil and gas sector has taken a further hit this year, with average weekly wages dropping 4.4 per cent, which Roach says suggests layoffs have been shared by boardrooms and field positions.