News in brief: A look at news, facts and figures shaping the world of payroll professionals

Quebec employers predicting average salary increase of 2.8 per cent for 2013: Survey • Canadian household income quadruples from 1981 to 2010: StatsCan • Firms cautiously optimistic with projected 2013 salary increases: Survey • Number of EI recipients, claims virtually unchanged in July: StatsCan • Average weekly earnings up 1.1 per cent in July: StatsCan

Quebec employers predicting average salary increase of 2.8 per cent for 2013: Survey

MONTREAL — Quebec employers are predicting an average salary increase of 2.8 per cent for 2013, according to a survey by the Quebec Employers Council. This is similar to the increases in 2012.

The global economic uncertainty has led managers to be cautious from a remuneration perspective but the need to be able to rely on a quality, available labour force remains an issue as employers struggle to attract and hold on to employees with specific key competencies in certain activity sectors, said the council.

From a regional and industry standpoint, the expected wage increases in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and the anticipated salary hikes in the oil and gas sector, remain the highest. But the comparative gap is not overly significant, found the Special Report on 2013 Salary Forecasts.

In regards to payroll taxes, the expected wage increases for 2013 will represent an average yearly cost of an additional $168 per employee in payroll taxes. This increase takes into account the various contribution rates announced for 2013.

Canadian household income quadruples from 1981 to 2010: StatsCan

OTTAWA — In the three decades between 1981 and 2010, primary household income in Canada more than quadrupled from $253.7 billion to nearly $1.1 trillion, according to Statistics Canada.

Primary household income, a new aggregate for assessing household income, was developed as part of the historical revisions to the Canadian System of National Accounts. The term is defined as, "incomes that accrue to households as a consequence of their involvement in processes of production or ownership of assets that may be needed for purposes of production."

There are three underlying components to primary household income: employee compensation, net mixed income and net property income. Their shares have remained largely stable over time.

Firms cautiously optimistic with projected 2013 salary increases: Survey

TORONTO — Average salary increases in 2013 will be 3.1 per cent across all employee groups and industries, according to Aon Hewitt’s annual Canada Salary Increase Survey.

The survey, which looked at 422 employers between July and August, projects salary increases showing a slight improvement over the actual 2012 salary increases, which on average were three per cent.

2013 salary increases are projected to range from 2.5 per cent for unionized employees to 3.3 per cent for managers and supervisors.

Projected 2013 salary increases in the manufacturing sector are between 3.1 per cent and 3.3 per cent for all employee groups, and the projected salary increase for unionized employees is 2.4 per cent.

In 2012, 3.3 per cent of organizations reported a salary freeze, while only 1.7 per cent are forecasting a freeze for 2013.

Number of EI recipients, claims virtually unchanged in July: StatsCan

OTTAWA — A total of 508,000 Canadians received regular employment insurance benefits in July, virtually unchanged from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada.

After a long-term downward trend in Alberta, the number of people receiving regular EI benefits increased to 25,600 in July, up 2,100 or 8.7 per cent from the previous month. In Ontario, the number of beneficiaries rose 3.4 per cent to 154,300, more than offsetting a decline in the previous month.

The number of people receiving benefits in Prince Edward Island declined five per cent to 8,100. And in Quebec, the number of beneficiaries fell 2.8 per cent to 146,300, the second consecutive decline in the province.

Average weekly earnings up 1.1 per cent in July: StatsCan

OTTAWA — Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees rose to $906.68 in July, up 1.1 per cent from the previous month, according to Statistics Canada.

The 4.1 per cent increase in earnings in the last year reflects a number of factors, including wage growth, changes in the composition of employment by industry, as well as average hours worked per week. In July, non-farm payroll employees worked an average of 32.9 hours per week, down from 33.1 the month before but up from 32.8 in July 2011.

Year-over-year growth in average weekly earnings outpaced the national average of 4.1 per cent in five of the largest industrial sectors: professional, scientific and technical services; educational services; accommodation and food services; manufacturing; and construction.

Average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll increased in every province in the 12 months to July, with the highest growth in Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. The lowest year-over-year growth was in Quebec.

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