Canadian salary forecasts for 2013

Canadian employees to see average salary increase of 2.9 per cent in 2013

Mining, oil and gas, and chemicals employees are expected to be the biggest winners in 2013; healthcare and government workers to receive lowest increases

(Toronto, August 17, 2012) – Canadian employees can expect an average salary increase of 2.9 %in 2013, according to a national survey of public and private sector employers conducted by Hay Group.

The projected increase is slightly more than that projected in 2012 (2.8 %) and close to projected increases of 3% for American employees.

However, projected increases continue to be much lower than projected increases of 3.7 % before the 2008/09 economic downturn.

More than 500 Canadian organizations provided details of their planned salary adjustments for 2013 for the Hay Group survey, which was conducted in June and July. Participants include many of Canada’s leading employers.

Resource-rich provinces continue to break away from rest of Canada

As expected, the winners are the oil and gas sector at 3.9% followed by mining at 3.6%. However, these higher forecasts are more of a reflection of the demand for key skills – and the competition for skilled talent - rather than “boom times”. Chemicals (at 3.4%), business / professional services (at 3.2%) and utilities (at 3.1%) are also forecasting increases that are higher than the national average.

Not surprisingly, it is Alberta (at 3.6%), Newfoundland (at 3.4%) and Saskatchewan (at 3.2%) that lead the country buoyed by the continued investment in natural resources. A clear divide between the provinces continues, with resource-rich provinces coming in between 3.2-3.6%, with the rest of Canada predicting increases of 2.6-2.7%.

Province                2013 projections          2012 projections          2011 projections
BC                         2.7%                               2.5%                             2.4%
Alberta                    3.6%                               3.4%                           2.9%
Saskatchewan          3.2%                              3.2%                          3.3%
Manitoba                   2.7%                             2.5%                         2.7%
Ontario                      2.7%                            2.7%                           2.4%
Quebec                      2.7%                           2.8%                           2.7%
Atlantic Canada          2.6%                         2.4%                           2.7%
Newfoundland            3.4%                         3.4%                          3.5%
GTA                         2.8%                            2.7%                           2.5%

The sectors with the lowest projections for 2013 are healthcare (at 2.0%), media (at 2.2%) and government and telecommunications (both at 2.3%). Overall, the public sector is forecasting noticeably lower salary increases (at 2.5%) than is the private sector (industrial and financial at 2.9%).

Canadians to fare better than some, but well behind BRIC countries

Canadian projections ranks about average against some of the other advanced industrialized nations, above France (at 2.6%) and Japan (at 2.0%) but slightly behind other industrial countries such as the US and UK (both at 3.0%). Canada still lags far behind the booming economies of the BRIC countries - India (at 10.0%), Russia (8.9%), China (9.5%) and Brazil (5.5%).

Other findings

The survey also included a number of other findings:

  • The actual base salary changes realized in 2012 were higher than projected in almost all sectors;
  • Saskatchewan and Newfoundland – two of last year’s biggest winners –have 2013 base salary projections that are the same as 2012;
  • Projections for Alberta are higher than they were in 2012;
  • BC projections, while still slightly below the national average, have risen for the third consecutive year;
  • Ontario and the GTA remain flat;
  • Projections for 2013 for China and Brazil have increased from those made for 2012 while the projections for Russia and India, while still high compared to most countries, have moderated from a year ago;
  • No major changes are expected in variable pay trends however, the opportunity to receive short-term incentives has increased slightly, especially in the public sector.

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

About Hay Group

Hay Group is a global management consulting firm that works with leaders to transform strategy into reality. We develop talent, organize people to be more effective and motivate them to perform at their best. Our focus is on making change happen and helping people and organizations realize their potential.

We have over 2600 employees working in 84 offices in 48 countries. Our insight is supported by vigorous data from over 100 countries. Our clients are from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, across every major industry.


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