New salary survey: ‘Significant’ increases predicted for 2023

Manitoba expecting biggest gains, while New Brunswick will see lowest

New salary survey: ‘Significant’ increases predicted for 2023

Canadian base salaries increased by 4.01 per cent in 2022 and are set to increase by 3.93 per cent in 2023, excluding freezes.

Including freezes, actual increases this year were 3.77 and 5.7 per cent of organizations froze their base salaries, according to a survey by LifeWorks, a wholly owned subsidiary of TELUS now operating as part of TELUS Health.

Including freezes, employers are projecting an average annual base salary increase of 3.86 per cent for 2023, finds the survey of 548 employers.

“Last year, we projected base salary increases of 2.67 per cent. In fact, the actual base salary increases were 4.01 per cent. This demonstrates that Canadian organizations adapted to many challenges such as market pressure, inflation and labour shortages,” says Al Kiel, senior partner, retirement and financial solutions.

“As we look toward 2023, we anticipate a continued rise in the average base salary in an effort for employers to attract, retain and empower talent to drive business results.”

Read more: How many workers' wages are keeping up with inflation?

Inflation, labour shortages

Organizations are experiencing a range of impacts of inflation and labour shortages, finds LifeWorks:

  • 65 per cent of organizations cite a rise in compensation costs caused by external market pressure as an impact of inflation and labour shortages.
  • 58 per cent of organizations cite the need to adjust the salaries of current employees to be equitable with new hires.
  • 44 per cent of organizations indicate increased challenges in controlling salary budget.
  • 28 per cent of organizations report additional challenges in achieving financial objectives.

Salary structure

Based on available data, the 2022 average salary range structure adjustments vary from 1.19 per cent to 3.22 per cent (including freezes) and from 1.98 per cent to 3.45 per cent (excluding freezes), according to LifeWorks.

Read more: Shopify revamps comp system to allow more choice

The 2023 projected average salary range structure adjustments vary from 2.67 per cent to 3.02 per cent (including freezes) and from 2.67 per cent to 3.33 per cent (excluding freezes).

Regional, sectoral differences

Manitoba (4.75 per cent), Nova Scotia (4.22 per cent) and Quebec (4.16 per cent) are the three provinces
with the highest average base salary increase planned for 2023, excluding freezes.

These are followed by British Columbia (4.05 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (four per cent), Ontario (3.82 per cent), Saskatchewan (3.8 per cent), Alberta (3.68 per cent) and New Brunswick (3.5 per cent), according to LifeWorks.

Read more: Record salary increases predicted for Quebec

By industry, the highest projected average salary increases for 2023 in Canada, excluding freezes, are expected to be in information technology (4.73 per cent), real estate (4.65 per cent) and farming and fishing (4.60 per cent).

The lowest increases are predicted for forestry (2.25 per cent), public admin (2.93 per cent) and utilities (3.05 per cent).

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