How Much Should You Raise Salaries for 2016?

A Hay Group survey says employers are expecting to boost base pay 2.4% next year, but the rate of increase is slowing

Written by Benefits Canada Staff

Canadians can expect to see average base salary increases of 2.4% in 2016, a Hay Group survey finds. That projection is lower than the 2.6% figure for 2015, continuing a downward trend in Canadian salary increases that has developed since the start of the economic downturn in 2008/2009. U.S. salary projections remain the same as for 2015 (3%), and Canadians have now fallen further behind their U.S. counterparts.

According to the survey, 70% of Canadian employers are forecasting that they will provide their employees with base salary increases in 2016, which is significantly less than the 83% of employers who projected increases for 2015. This is due to continued economic uncertainty across many sectors in the Canadian economy and to the fact that more employers are now adopting a “wait and see” position before increasing their budgets.

Due to the high demand for skilled labour, workers in the oil and gas sector have traditionally received the highest salary increases in Canada, however, with the economic impact of collapsing oil prices over the last year, these workers are now projected to receive the lowest increases in the country at 1.5% as employers shed jobs and the labour supply now exceeds demand. Credit unions (3%), Leisure/hospitality (3.0%) and insurance (2.9%) will lead all sectors with forecasts higher than the national average of 2.4%.

Saskatchewan (2.7%) and Alberta (2.5%) still lead the country with projected overall base salary increases higher than the national average (2.4%). However they are significantly lower than in recent years, due mainly to the global softening in commodity prices, particularly in the Alberta oil and gas sector.

Looking at the 2016 projections for major Canadian cities, workers in Edmonton are projected to receive increases of 2.9%, followed by Regina at (2.6%) and the Greater Toronto Area, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Ottawa at 2.5%.

More than 525 Canadian public and private sector employers across Canada participated in the survey.

This article originally appeared at Benefits Canada.


How much do you expect your salary costs to increase for 2016? Let us know using the comments section below.

Originally appeared on