Modest pay increases for 2010: Conference Board

Saskatchewan workers to see biggest increases at 4 per cent
||Last Updated: 12/14/2009

Canadian workers can expect slightly higher pay increases next year than those handed out in 2009, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

The Conference Board surveyed 435 Canadian organizations as part of its annual Compensation Planning Outlook and found employers are predicting average pay increases of 2.7 per cent for 2010, up from the actual average increase of 2.4 per cent in 2009.

“One year after the collapse of global equity and financial markets, compensation planners are showing signs of cautious optimism after reining in salary increases in 2009,” said John Rankin, interim vice-president of leadership and human resources research at the Conference Board.

“Still, lingering uncertainty about the strength of the recovery may lead to slight downward revisions to projected pay increases in 2010.”

Public sector employees can expect higher wage gains than their private-sector counterparts. Increases of 3.2 per cent are anticipated for non-unionized public sector employees, compared to 2.5 per cent for private-sector employees.

For unionized employees, increases of 2.1 per cent are projected – 2.3 per cent in the public sector and two per cent in the private sector.

Workers in Saskatchewan (four per cent) and Manitoba (3.5 per cent) can expect the highest increases in 2010, while increases in Alberta and the Atlantic provinces are projected to be about the same as the national average.

With average increases ranging from 2.4 per cent to 2.6 per cent, organizations in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are expecting to pay employees increases below the national average.

In 2009, actual increases averaged 2.4 per cent, down sharply from 4.2 per cent in 2008, and one in five employers gave no increases in 2009. In 2010, only 8.3 per cent of employers are expecting overall salary freezes.

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