Canadian Workers Expected to Earn More Money in 2019

Although we keep hearing that while the economy has recovered after the Great Recession of 2008, wages have not kept up to pace with that growth.

But a new report suggests that Canadians may be in line for a substantial pay raise next year.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, the average pay increase for non-unionized Canadian workers is projected to be 2.6 per cent in 2019, up slightly from the 2.4 per cent average increase received this year.In Ontario, there is an expected 2.5 per cent increase in non-unionized wages.

"Over the past few years, we have seen wage increases among the lowest they have been in the past two decades. We are now seeing an improvement and compensation planners are looking to offer increases in 2019 that remain ahead of inflation," said Allison Cowan, Director, Total Rewards, HR and Labour Relations Research of the CBC.

Other highlights found in the CBC’s analysis include:

  • Voluntary turnover rates are on the rise and nearly two-thirds of employers report challenges recruiting and retaining employees with specific skills.

  • The professions in highest demand include IT specialists, management, engineering, skilled trades, and sales and marketing.

  • Projected increases are highest in the food, beverage, and tobacco products industry at 3 per cent, with oil and gas and technology sector jobs at 2.9 per cent.

  • The lowest average increases are expected in the health sector at 1.6 per cent.

  • Regionally, Saskatchewan has the highest projected base salary increase at 2.9 per cent. The lowest increases are expected in Manitoba at 2.3 per cent.


Regarding voluntary turnover, that has increased in the past year, averaging 8.1 per cent, compared with 7.1 per cent in 2017.

At 64 per cent, the number of organizations experiencing challenges recruiting or retaining specific skills is slightly more than the 57 per cent who reported the same last year.

These challenges vary by industry, with the most acute attraction and retention challenges experienced in wholesale trade (91 per cent), accommodation, tourism, food, entertainment and personal services (88 per cent), and construction (75 per cent).

So while you may expect a bump in pay next year, it really depends on what you do for a living.

And if your job happens to be unionized, then tough luck.

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