Canada: Scaled Back Salaries – Average Wage Increase of 2.6% for 2014

Wage Incr canadian-money

Oil & Gas, Services, Credit Unions, and Chemicals workers are expected to have the highest wage increases in 2014; retail and leisure/hospitality workers to receive lowest increases

According to a national survey conducted by the Hay Group, a global management consulting firm, Canadian employees working in both the public and private sectors, can expect an average wage increase of 2.6% in 2014.

However, supported by respondents from over 500 Canadian organizations during June and July this year, the projected increase for 2013 was actually at 2.9%. It is also important to note here that participants for this survey involved several of Canada’s leading employers.

These numbers are in stark contrast to the wage increases Canadians became accustomed to prior to our 2008-2009 economic downturn, when increases in the 3.7% range were the norm.

For 2013, the Hay Group indicates that the highest increases are within the following sectors, which are reflective of our current requirements for skilled labour with expertise in:

  • Oil & Gas at 4%
  • Services at 3.3%
  • Credit Unions at 3.2%
  • Chemicals at 3.1%, and
  • Utilities at 3%

Resource-based provinces still lead the rest of Canada

Not astonishingly, Newfoundland and Labrador (at 4.0%), Saskatchewan (at 3.4%) and Alberta (at 3.2%), lead the country, buoyed by the demand for key skills within the resource industries despite the challenges in these markets.

A clear divide between provinces continues, with resource-rich provinces coming in between 3.2% to 4.0%, whereas the rest of Canada is predicting increases of 2.1% to 2.6%, all of them either at or below the national average.

Largely, the public sector is forecasting perceptibly lower wage increases at 2.3%, whereas the forecast for the private sector is 2.7%.

While Canadians will fare better than some, we are still well behind other major economies.

Canadian projections rank about average against some industrialized nations, above France (at 2.5%); Italy (at 2.2%) and Japan (at 2.0%), however, behind others like the US (at 2.8%) and UK (at 2.9% %).

Canada also still lags way behind the forecasts for India (at 10.8%) including:

  • Saskatchewan and Newfoundland have the highest 2014 base pay projections;
  • Alberta 2014 projections are lower than in 2013, however, still rank 3rd highest in Canada;
  • BC is showing projections lower than last year, and below the national average;
  • Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area at 2.5%, are also below the national average; and
  • Opportunities to receive short-term incentives have increased for senior and middle management within the private sector; however, there are fewer opportunities for those employed in subordinate roles such as supervisory and clerical capacities.


Note: Complete details and survey results will be released by the Hay Group in a series of breakfast presentations being held in major cities across Canada this September.


Research Sources: The Hay Group,, and the Huffington Post, Canada,

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