More Toronto businesses give salary increases in 2010: Survey

Executive salary increases continue three-year decline
||Last Updated: 10/26/2010

Despite a tepid economic recovery, more Toronto region businesses rewarded employees with base salary increases in 2010, according to a new salary survey.

The Toronto Board of Trade surveyed more than 330 organizations for the 2010 Compensation, Benefits and Employment Practices Toronto Region Reports. Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of respondents said their companies gave salary increases in 2010, compared to 51 per cent in 2009.

However, the average salary increase for 2010 was 2.7 per cent, down from 3.2 per cent in 2009.

“While some companies were forced to downsize last year, many also rewarded remaining employees with salary increases as a sign of recognition for helping the organization through two years of economic uncertainty,” said Mary Jo Kavanagh, manager of HR surveys and programs at the Toronto Board of Trade.

“Now with the job market opening to new opportunities, employers recognize they must offer competitive salaries in order to retain and attract top talent.”

Salary increases ranged from 2.4 per cent to 2.7 per cent for management, professional, supervisory, sales, IT, administrative and manufacturing employees. This is down from a range of 2.9 per cent to 3.1 per cent in 2009.

For the second year in a row, the survey found a decrease in total cash compensation paid to executives in the Toronto region. Executives' actual total cash compensation dropped by seven per cent in the 12-month period ending April 1, 2010, found the survey.

“The global economic crisis placed executive compensation under great scrutiny,” said Kavanagh. “Toronto region top executives’ salary increases have been on a steady three-year decline since the high of 5.1 per cent in 2007. Businesses in the region are taking further responsible measures to ensure executive compensation is in line with performance.”

Other executive compensation findings:

• Executives' average base salary increases was 3.3 per cent in 2010, down from 4.3 per cent in 2009.

• Executives’ bonuses dropped between three per cent and 44 per cent in 2010 compared to 2009.

• CEO bonuses declined 23 per cent in 2010.

2011 salary increase forecast

As of September 1, 62 per cent of survey participants forecast an overall 2.8 per cent increase in base salaries for 2011, slightly higher than the 2.7 per cent forecast as of April 1. All employee categories except executives are forecasting higher increases since the April 1 forecast.

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