Canadian organizations are increasingly struggling to recruit and retain the workers they need. This is according to a new report from The Conference Board of Canada that says companies are planning base salary increases of about 1% higher than the annual inflation rate for 2015.

The average pay increase for non-unionized employees is projected to be 2.9% next year, which is one percent higher than the forecasted inflation rate of 1.9%, says the Conference Board.

“The good news is that most Canadian organizations are planning salary increases for 2015. However, employers remain cautious about Canada’s economic performance and are opting for the same modest wage increases seen in the past few years,” said Ian Cullwick, Vice-President, Leadership and Human Resources Research.

Salary increases by region and industry

Employers in Saskatchewan and Alberta expect to see the largest average growth in salaries next year with increases of 3.6% and 3.5% respectively. The lowest average increases are expected to be in the Atlantic Provinces at 2.3 per cent. Workers in Ontario will fare only slightly better, seeing average gains of 2.5%.

The highest average salary increase is expected to be in the oil and gas sector at 3.9%. The health sector is projected to see the lowest average increases at just 2.2%

The labour market in Canada is getting tighter

Sixty-four percent of Canadian companies surveyed say they are having difficulty hiring and keeping employees this year, which is up from 58% last year. This number is much higher in Saskatchewan and Alberta, where 85% and 78% of companies say they are struggling to attract and retain workers right now.

This is similar to the findings on Manpower’s recent Talent Shortage Survey which found that 53% of Canadian employers feel that a shortage of talent is having a medium to high impact on their ability to meet client needs.

According to Manpower, these are the ten hardest jobs for employers to fill (and their average Canadian wages)*

* Salary data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey

The Conference Board of Canada report says that 16% of companies are planning to increase the size of their workforce in 2015.


Peter Harris

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