Provinces expecting biggest gains include British Columbia, Alberta
Employers in Canada are expecting salaries to rise by an average of 2.6 per cent in 2019, according to a survey by Morneau Shepell.
This is consistent with the actual 2.6 per cent average increase in 2018 and includes expected salary freezes, with 4.6 per cent of respondents expecting a zero salary budget for 2019.
"Employers remain relatively confident about compensation expectations in the coming year," said Anand Parsan, vice-president of compensation consulting at Morneau Shepell.
"Those expecting healthier financial performance in the coming year outpace those expecting worse performance by six to one. In the face of this optimism and a labour market with no slack, however, employers remain guarded about salary increases, perhaps reflecting anxiety over the possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates and a Canadian economy operating close to its capacity."
Provinces expecting higher-than-average salary increases in 2019 include British Columbia at 2.8 per cent and Alberta at 2.7 per cent, found the survey of 356 organizations. Employers in Quebec and Ontario are expecting salary increases of 2.6 and 2.5 per cent respectively, while salary increases in other provinces ranged from 2.3 to 2.6 per cent.
Industry sectors that are expecting higher-than-average salary increases include real estate, rental and leasing at 3.8 per cent, professional, scientific and technical services at three per cent, educational services at three per cent and public administration at 2.8 per cent. Expected salary increases in sectors such as finance and insurance, manufacturing and retail trade are expected to remain strong at 2.7 per cent next year, found Morneau Shepell.
Lower than average salary increases are expected in certain industry groups. Information and cultural industries salary increases are among the lowest at 1.5 per cent. Health care and social assistance employers are expected to average 1.7 per cent next year, with arts, entertainment and recreation slightly higher at 2.1 per cent.