2018 salary budget increase forecast at 2.5% according to survey

This past Wednesday morning at the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Accompass Vice President, Anne Peiris, shared highlights of the organization's recent survey of over 200 Canadian organizations and their plans for their 2018 salary budgets. 

The annual breakfast started with a presentation from Harry Rosen, Chairman and CEO Larry Rosen, who spoke about the challenges facing the Canadian retail industry. U.S. entrants into the Canadian market, labels introducing their own designer boutiques, and online players were cited as impetuses for substantial evolution in how the company operated, including updated stores and a new virtual experience.

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The second half of the morning featured insights from both Accompass's Annual Salary Budget Survey as well as the Big Bench, the compensation benchmark survey for the Toronto region that Accompass has been partnering with the Board of Trade on. Employers indicated a projected average increase in salary of 2.5%, excluding zeros. This matches the projected 2.5% that organizations shared last year. The actual increase that year came in at 2.6% according to survey participants.

Peiris indicated that one in four organizations segment salary budget by job level, with more senior levels seeing a higher salary budget. "By organizations establishing separate budgets for the different levels, it avoids the problem of having to take from people at junior levels to fund a higher-than-budgeted increase at a more senior level," she explained.

Another significant factor that Peiris mentioned was the increase in minimum wage in Ontario, mandated by Bill 148. "This increase of 32 per cent over the course of 15 months is a huge impact for organizations that have minimum wage employees in the province," she said. Peiris also noted the communications challenge that comes with this type of increase, as many employees may have taken many years to get to this salary level.

Executive Compensation Vice President, Jonathan Foster, explained the shift from a cost-of-living philosophy. "Pay for performance is what is coming out in base salary adjustments and annual incentive programs."

Contact Accompass for a copy of the presentation, and the full 2018 Salary Budget Report, expected to be available in early October.