Canadian employers boosting wages to attract the staff they need

A flurry of new reports have just been released offering an eye-opening look at the Canadian labour market – and what employers are doing to hire the staff they need. Here’s a summary of the latest data.

A record number of small businesses in Canada say that they are currently experiencing a shortage of skilled labour, according to a new report out from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Nearly half (47 per cent) of the companies surveyed told the CFIB that their business is being hurt by a lack of qualified staff. (October Business Barometer from the CFIB.)

The report said the shortage is causing many organizations to alter their plans to hire workers and is negatively impacting their ability to grow.

According to the CFIB, the industries reporting the greatest shortages in skilled labour were construction, transportation, personal services and natural resources.

The Hotel Association of Canadian recently put out their own report highlighting severe labour shortages in the hospitality industry as well. According to their research:

  • 2 of every 3 of accommodation businesses see labour issues as a significant business impediment.
  • Operations are scaled back or doors open with insufficient staff
  • 33% growth in available full-time jobs supported through growing consumer demand for accommodation services by 2035
  • If the labour shortage is not addressed, the accommodation industry could experience a labour shortfall of 10,000 by 2035

View jobs that are available in the hospitality sector right now on CareerBeacon.

New Brunswick ranks fourth overall among the provinces for severity of labour shortages. [View jobs in New Brunswick.] Another recent report highlighted that half of the businesses in Atlantic Canada are struggling to hire workers.

The top three provinces struggling to hire workers are British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario.

To attract staff, employers are boosting wages. A new report out just this morning from the Conference Board of Canada found that salaries are expected to grow faster in 2019 than they have in recent years.

Explains the Conference Board’s Allison Cowan, “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.”

The average pay increase for non-unionized employees is projected to be 2.6 per cent next year.

Projected increases are highest in the food, beverage, and tobacco products industry (3.0 per cent) and the oil and gas and technology industries (2.9 per cent). The lowest average increases are expected in the health sector at 1.6 per cent.

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