2019 Compensation Trends

As the end of the year quickly approaches, it’s time for employers to look towards 2019 with an eye on emerging salary trends. From attracting and securing top candidates to remaining competitive within your marketplace, having the salary trends that will affect you most right at your fingertips is key. With these trends — and Adecco’s 2019 Salary Guide, where we’ve provided benchmark salaries for over 150 job titles — we’re here to help guide your organization into a prosperous new year.

2019 Adecco Salary Guide

When it comes to compensating your employees, it’s essential to consider the trends impacting the labour market in general and your organization’s competitiveness in particular. Whether it’s the newly-negotiated USMCA, the candidate-driven labour market or provincial- and industry-specific trends caused by varying economic factors, staying on top of these emerging trends will help you better predict what’s required to remain competitive in a candidate market.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the top salary trends for 2019, which are underscored by the expected increase in Canadian salaries by around 2.6%, predicted by the Morneau Shepell annual survey of trends in human resources. This rate is consistent with salary rate increases in 2018 and the current inflation rate.

The Candidate Market

Despite the slight rise in the Canadian national unemployment rate in 2018, which crawled up to 6%, the labour market continues to be candidate-driven. By the end of Q2 2018, Canada’s job vacancies stood at 547,300, an increase of 87,100 (18.9%) year over year. With a small candidate pool and growing need for applicants, companies face greater competition to attract and retain top talent, resulting in the need for employers to reassess their compensation strategies to remain competitive within their respective industries.

Defining Compensation

Compensation continues to shift due to strong competition within labour markets. Traditionally, compensation packages included salary, vacation pay, benefits and retirement plan contributions. Today, employers that face strict budgets are forced to get creative with their compensation strategies, turning to perks and incentives such as flexible work hours, telecommuting, workplace wellness programs, advancement opportunities and profit sharing to secure top candidates. By making a healthy work/life balance part of their compensation package, these employers take advantage of cost-effective alternative compensation strategies to remain competitive.

Provincial Trends

Within the provincial breakdown of salary increases, BC and Alberta lead the nation in average salary increase at 2.8% and 2.7% respectively. Quebec is projected to be right around the national average at 2.6%. Ontario falling slightly behind the average at 2.5% is perhaps a reflection of Premier Doug Ford’s amendment to Bill 148, freezing the Ontario minimum wage at $14 until 2020. Other provincial salary increases range from the 2.0% to 2.6%: Newfoundland (2.0%), Manitoba (2.3%), New Brunswick (2.3%), Saskatchewan (2.6%) and Nova Scotia (2.6%).

Industry Trends

Although on average, employers have acknowledged 2019 plans to increase salary ranges by 1.9%, different industries can expect varying 2019 compensation trends. Higher salary increases will be seen in industries such as real estate, rental and leasing (3.8%), with industries such as professional, scientific and technical services following closely behind (3%). Other industries that can expect to see a slight raise in salaries include education services (3%) and public administration (2.8%). These increases may be in response to below average increases over the past few years, finally catching up to other sectors in 2019. Sectors such as finance and insurance, manufacturing and retail trade are expecting a steady increase (2.7%). Industries that are anticipating lower than average increases include information and cultural industries (1.5%), health care and social assistance (1.7%), and arts, entertainment and recreation (2.1%).

Looking to stay on top of changing compensation trends? Let Adecco’s 2019 Salary Guide break it down for you. With benchmark salaries of over 150 job titles, you’ll be able to assess salary competitiveness in your industry and province.

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