2016 salary increases to be lower than anticipated: Survey

Projections down from 2.6 per cent in summer to 2.3 per cent

Canada’s slower-than-expected economy is forcing organizations to adopt a more guarded approach to fiscal planning and base salary increases, according to a Conference Board of Canada survey.

Projections for 2016 base salary increases are down, from 2.6 per cent in the summer of 2015 to 2.3 per cent in December 2015.

The most dramatic change in salary projections was seen among oil and gas organizations, from an average projected increase of 2.1 per cent in the summer to 0.5 per cent in December. Two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents in the oil and gas industry have lowered expected salary increases for 2016.

Oil and gas organizations are expecting the lowest increases, followed by the scientific, construction, and engineering services industry at 1.6 per cent, found the survey of 229 organizations.

The finance, insurance and real estate industry, along with government, are planning the highest salary increases for 2016, at 2.8 per cent.

Saskatchewan will no longer have the highest regional increases, having decreased projections from 3.2 per cent to 2.6 per cent. Alberta saw the most dramatic change in planned increases, dropping from 2.4 per cent in the summer of 2015 to 1.4 per cent in December.

Ontario and the Atlantic provinces are the only regions where December projections are still in line with summer projections, at 2.5 and 2.8 per cent, respectively, found Compensation Planning Outlook 2016: Mid-Year Pulse Check.

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