average toronto salary

Big salary increases expected for many workers in Toronto next year

The pinch at the pump (and the grocery store and pretty much everywhere one might purchase goods) will soon loosen up a bit, according to the results of an employer survey by Canada's largest actuarial firm.

Eckler, based in Toronto, released the results of its inaugural "compensation planning survey" on Tuesday, revealing that Canadian employers are "projecting the highest salary increase in two decades" for 2023.

That equates to a rise in the national average base salary of 4.2 per cent (excluding planned salary freezes, and apparently, only one per cent of employers plan to freeze wages in 2023).

After surveying hundreds of organizations "across diverse sectors and industries," the firm crunched what it calls "critical data on salary, pay administration practices, market trends and human resource priorities at Canadian companies."

"Salary planning for 2023 has been rife with complexity. We are seeing the highest projected salary increase in two decades as organizations try to balance the impact of rising inflationary pressure and a tight labour market against a backdrop of surging interest rates and anticipated economic downturn," said Anand Parsan, National Compensation Practice for Eckler, in a release announcing the findings.

"Based on actuals seen in 2022, time will tell if the 4.2% will remain constant or push higher as organizations weigh their budget and talent management needs."

Some parts of Canada could see salaries rise higher than others, with Ontario, Quebec and B.C. predicted to be among those with the biggest hikes. Yukon, Nunavut and Prince Edward Island are all conversely expected to see salary increases of between just 3.2 per cent and 3.5 per cent.

Specific industries, too, could see outsized wage hikes, notably information technology (5.4 per cent), professional associations (5.3 per cent), construction (5.1 per cent) and media & telecommunications (5.1 per cent).

The lowest performing industries in terms of salary growth are projected to be education (2.5 per cent), health care (2.7 per cent), agriculture (3.4 per cent) and hospitality (3.5 per cent.)

But money isn't everything, as the Eckler report's authors note.

Survey results show that many employers also plan on beefing up their benefits over the next 12 months, putting an emphasis on diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives, talent retention and employee engagement.

"Compensation is certainly a key component in an organization's rewards strategy. However, large salary increases alone may not be enough," said Eclker's Chris Brisebois in the report.

"If employees do not perceive that there is value in the rewards you are offering, you may be less likely to attract and keep the talent you need to achieve organizational objectives."

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