Salaries expected to increase by 3 per cent in 2013: Conference Board

Highest raises predicted for Alberta, lowest for Ontario
||Last Updated: 11/01/2012

A sluggish economic outlook is causing organizations to plan for another year of moderate base salary increases for 2013, according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada.

The average salary increase is expected to be three per cent for non-unionized employees for 2013, found Compensation Planning Outlook 2013, which polled 401 employers.

“Employers have not yet felt the full effects of looming workforce shortages. But it is apparent that the labour market is tightening, especially in Western Canada and in the natural resources and professional, scientific, and technical services industries,” said Karla Thorpe, director of leadership and human resources research.

Employers in Alberta and Saskatchewan are again expecting to offer the highest base pay raises. Alberta employers are projecting average increases of 3.8 per cent, slightly higher than the 3.7 per cent average in Saskatchewan. The lowest average increase is expected in Ontario at 2.7 per cent, found the report.

The oil and gas industry is projecting the highest average increase at 4.2 per cent in 2013, followed by the natural resources sector (excluding oil and gas) at 3.6 per cent.

The expected increase in the private sector in 2013 is 3.1 per cent, slightly above the three per cent increase given last year. The average increase for employees in the public sector is expected to be 2.8 per cent in 2013.

For unionized employees, the average wage increase projected for 2013 is two per cent, slightly below the actual increase for contracts negotiated in 2012.

More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of organizations report challenges with recruiting and retaining personnel. The top professions in demand include engineering, specialist information technology and skilled trades.

Labour market pressure is most acute in Saskatchewan and Alberta, where 83 per cent and 82 per cent, respectively, of employers face challenges recruiting and retaining employees, found the Conference Board. The pressure is greatest in the natural resources sector, where virtually all firms responding to the survey are facing challenges recruiting and retaining employees.

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