Companies planning cautious salary increases: Mercer

Average increases of 2.9 per cent, only 2 per cent of organizations planning freezes

It’s back to cautious normal as most organizations plan to grant salary increases based on conservative budgets, according to Mercer's Compensation Planning 2011 survey.

The 600 Canadian employers surveyed are projecting average base pay increases of 2.9 per cent for 2011, up slightly from the the average 2.7-per-cent increases in 2010 and a significant increase from the two-per-cent increases in 2009. 

The number of organizations that froze salaries dropped dramatically this year, from 31 per cent in 2009 to six per cent in 2010. Only two per cent of the 600 organizations surveyed are projecting an all-employee salary freeze for 2011.

Employers project similar increases for all categories of employees (executive, management, professional, trades and clerical) at either 2.8 or 2.9 per cent. Historically, increases for the executive employee group tracked higher than other employee groups. Recent years have seen increases for executives come into alignment with the rest of the employee population.

Projected increases are comparable across the country, ranging from 2.7 per cent in parts of Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Manitoba and the Territories to 2.9 per cent in Alberta.

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