As a result of cautious optimism among Canadian companies, salary budgets are slowly moving back to pre-recession levels, according to an annual salary survey by Towers Watson.
In 2011, 97 per cent of employers reported increasing or planning to increase employee salaries an average of 2.9 per cent. Salaries are expected to increase even more in 2012, with 99 per cent of employers projecting an average salary increase of 3.2 per cent.
Executives saw the largest average salary increases in 2011, at 3.1 per cent, and will see the largest average increases next year, at 3.2 per cent, found the survey of 239 employers.
But not all employees can expect increases. In 2011, employees who did not meet expectations received no merit increases, whereas employees who exceeded expectations received up to five-per-cent merit increases. This will likely continue in 2012, said Towers Watson.
Fewer companies are implementing salary freezes. In 2009, 30 per cent of companies froze salaries, whereas only one per cent are planning to do so in 2012.
Employees in the energy services and insurance sectors saw the lowest salary increases in 2011 at 2.6 per cent while
employees in the transportation and oil and gas exploration industries saw the highest salary increases at 3.1 per cent. In 2012, employees in oil and gas exploration can expect to see salary increases of 3.4 per cent, found the survey
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