Slowdown cripples wage increases

Employers tightening belts, employees losing ‘arrogance’
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/04/2009

The economic slowdown and stock market collapse are dragging salary increases down with them. Before the economic crisis hit hard in September, Canadian employers were predicting relatively lofty salary increases.

That was then, this is now: A recent poll of 180 corporate leaders by the Conference Board of Canada after the market collapse found the average increase for 2009 could fall to three per cent, a significant decrease from the results of a summertime survey that predicted an average increase of 3.9 per cent for non-unionized employees.

And the reduced number includes increases for employees in Alberta, where wage increases are still expected to outpace the national average, so gains in Ontario might not even reach three per cent and will probably be closer to two or 2.5 per cent, said Prem Benimadhu, vice-president of governance and HR management at the Conference Board.