Average salary increases forecast to be highest in 2013

Oct 26, 2012

The Conference Board of Canada’s Compensation Planning Outlook 2013, released  Wednesday, is forecasting the province to have the highest average salary  increases next year.

According to the survey, 69 per cent of organizations in Canada report  challenges with recruiting and/or retaining personnel. The top professions in  demand include engineering, specialist information technology, and skilled  trades. “Labour market pressure is most acute in Saskatchewan and Alberta, where 83  and 82 per cent, respectively, of employers face challenges recruiting and  retaining employees,” said the report. “The pressure is greatest in the natural  resources sector, where virtually all firms responding to the survey are facing  challenges recruiting and retaining employees.

“Given talent shortages in resource industries, it is not surprising that  employers in Alberta and Saskatchewan are again expecting to offer the highest  base pay raises, (salary increases averaged 3.9 per cent in Alberta and  Saskatchewan last year). Alberta employers are projecting average increases of  3.8 per cent, slightly higher than the 3.7 per cent average in Saskatchewan. The  lowest average increase is expected in Ontario at 2.7 per cent.”

The report said the oil and gas industry is projecting the highest average  increase at 4.2 per cent in 2013, followed by the natural resources sector  (excluding oil and gas) at 3.6 per cent. At the national level, the report said a sluggish economic outlook is causing  organizations to plan for another year of moderate base salary increases for  2013. Average increases for non-unionized employees are forecast for three per  cent next year, largely in line with actual gains in 2012.

“Employers have not yet felt the full effects of looming workforce shortages.  But it is apparent that the labour market is tightening, especially in Western  Canada and in the natural resources and professional, scientific, and technical  services industries,” said Karla Thorpe, Director, Leadership and Human  Resources Research for the board. “Assuming no significant hiccups to the global economy, the unemployment rate  is expected to dip in 2014, and labour supply shortages will re-emerge over the medium term.”