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Montreal Employers Are Boosting Salaries More Than Anywhere Else In Canada, A Survey Finds

But the rate falls short of this year's decades-high inflation.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Montreal's downtown with the mountain in the background.

Montreal's downtown with the mountain in the background.

Employers in Montreal are raising salaries more than anywhere else in Canada. A new study on compensation budgets across the country found that they're going up as a result of inflation. Most employers are now allocating at least 4% more on average for total budget increases in 2023, up from the 2.8% rise seen in 2022.

It's usually the labour market, not inflation, that drives compensation strategies. But the survey by Mercer, a consulting firm, found that over a third of companies (34%) are looking at wage reviews and merit-based promotions to reduce employee turnover.

While the biggest salary increases are projected in Montreal (4.5%), Edmonton (4.3%), Saskatchewan (4.2 %) and Calgary (4.1%), they still fall short of June's 30-year high 8.1% inflation rate, which dropped to 7% last month.

The study collected data from more than 550 organizations across 15 industries. Most are boosting benefits and creating new programs to improve diversity in an effort to entice workers. Other strategies include providing gender affirmation, fertility coverage and adoption cost assistance for workers.

"High inflation is raising compensation expectations and salary projections of Canadian employees facing significant increases in their cost of living," said Elizabeth English, an executive in Mercer Canada’s Career Products business.

"With 2023 compensation budget increases falling well short of inflation, organizations need to focus on managing employee expectations with their internal communications, planning for multiple scenarios and adopting a broader total rewards perspective to attract and retain talent, which can include investing in their benefit programs."

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