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Despite Stronger Economy, Canadian Workers Can Expect Only Modest Salary Increases in 2018

by Natasha Jamieson | Oct 30, 2017
Ottawa, October 30, 2017—

For the seventh year in a row, Canadian organizations are planning moderate base salary increases. The average pay increase for non-unionized employees is projected to be 2.4 per cent next year, slightly higher than the actual increases of 2.2 per cent in 2017, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Compensation Planning Outlook 2018.


“While the Canadian economy is firing on all cylinders this year, growth projections for next year and beyond show a slowing down of the economy. As a result, business leaders continue to exercise caution, keeping a cap on organizational spending and, by extension, salary increases,” said Allison Cowan, Director, Total Rewards Research, The Conference Board of Canada.

Highlights

  • The average pay increase for non-unionized employees is projected to be 2.4 per cent next year.

  • Projected increases are highest in the pharmaceutical and chemical products industry at 2.7 per cent and lowest in the health sector projected to be 1.6 per cent.

  • For over a decade, the professions in highest demand continue to be IT specialists, management, accounting/finance, engineering and skilled trades.

Projected increases are highest in the pharmaceutical and chemical products industry, at 2.7 per cent. Increases of 2.6 per cent are projected in the construction industry, along with organizations in finance, insurance and real estate; not for profits; the retail trade industry; and the accommodation, food, entertainment, and personal services sector. The lowest average increases are expected in the health sector, with an average increase of 1.6 per cent in 2018.
Regionally, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec lead the pack in terms of projected increases, with wage gains ranging from 2.6 per cent to 2.5 per cent. Meanwhile, the lowest average base pay increases are expected in Alberta and Saskatchewan, at 2.1 per cent.

In line with the past two years, 57 per cent of organizations reported challenges recruiting and/or retaining specific skills. Employers in Ontario experienced the most difficulties recruiting and/or retaining employees with particular skills. Nearly one-half of Ontario organizations (48 per cent) indicate challenges in these areas. Industries experiencing the highest attraction and retention challenges include construction (91 per cent), communications and telecommunications (82 per cent), wholesale trade (86 per cent), and the food, accommodation, entertainment, and personal services industries (86 per cent).

The professions in highest demand continue to be IT specialists, management, accounting/finance, engineering and skilled trades. While there has been some movement in the ranks, these five specializations have remained the most sought after for over a decade.

T
he 36th edition of the Compensation Planning Outlook summarizes the results of The Conference Board of Canada’s annual compensation survey and forecast. Conducted in June 2017, a total of 324 organizations participated in this research.


For more information contact

Corporate Communications
613-526-3280
corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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