2012 salary increase projections from Hay Group survey

Canadian employers remain cautiously optimistic

Mining, oil and gas, financial services employees the biggest winners in 2012; healthcare and government workers to receive lowest increases

(Toronto, August 23, 2011) – Hay Group released national projections for 2012 Canadian salary adjustments that show a marginal increase from a year ago, but continue to be much lower than those made prior to the 2008 / 09 economic downturn.

Planned increases for 2012 to average 2.8 per cent

The results of the recent survey of Canadian employers forecast a national average salary increase of 2.8 percent for 2012, which is higher than the 2011 projection of 2.6 per cent, but well below the 2009 projection of 3.7 per cent, just prior to the downturn.

The average actual salary change that organizations realized in 2011 was 2.7 per cent, which supports last year’s forecast of 2.6 per cent.

More than 660 Canadian organizations in the public and private sectors provided details of their planned salary adjustments for 2012 for the Hay Group survey, which was conducted in June and July. Participants include many of Canada’s leading employers.

“Overall, the direction of the sentiment is positive. Still, the projections are not as high as they were before the 2009 financial downturn. Across sectors, there has been a significant recalibration of expectations. 2.8 per cent represents a modest increase from the previous year,” explains Karl Aboud, Director of the Hay Group Reward Consulting Practice. “As an employee, you can expect to see your salary increase little more than inflation. Worldwide uncertainty continues to hamper wage expectations.”

Canadian projections lead U.S and other developed economies

Comparing international data, Canadian projections rank higher against some of the other industrialized nations, above Germany (at 2.5 per cent), the United Kingdom (at 2.1 per cent) and Japan (at 2.0 per cent). Still, Canada lags far behind the booming economies of India (at 11.7 per cent), Russia (9.8 per cent), China (8.4 per cent) and Brazil (5.3 percent).

Ontario lags behind Alberta and Newfoundland

The projections vary across Canada, with Ontario and the GTA coming in slightly below average (at 2.7 per cent). Newfoundland (at 3.4 per cent), Alberta (at 3.4 per cent) and Saskatchewan (at 3.2 per cent) lead the country, largely buoyed by their natural resources wealth.

Government and healthcare providers see lowest projections

The sectors with the lowest projections for 2012 are healthcare (at 1.3 per cent) and forestry & paper, government and retail (all at 2.3 per cent). Overall, the broader public sector is forecasting noticeably lower salary increases (at 2.3 per cent) than is the private sector (industrials at 2.8% and financials at 2.9 per cent).

The winners come as no surprise as Canada’s natural resources continue to see boom times, with the mining sector (at 3.8 per cent) projecting the highest average salary increase followed by oil and gas (at 3.7 per cent). Business / professional services (at 3.3%) and banks and credit unions (both at 3.2 per cent) are also forecasting increases that are higher than the national average.

Details of the survey results will be released at a series of breakfast presentations being held in major cities across Canada in September.


To arrange an interview, please contact Lindsay Finneran Gingras, Public Relations Consultant, Enterprise Canada Tel: 416.646.3108 Cell: 416.587.5780 or lfinnerangingras@enterprisecanada.com

For media in Western Canada, please contact Heather Ritzer, Peak Communicators: 604.689.5559 or hritzer@peakco.com