Where the raises are across Canada in 2018, and how to get one

Canadian salaries are expected to increase by an average of 2.3% in 2018, according to Morneau Shepell’s annual survey of Trends in Human Resources.

The survey broke down salary increases by province and identified some sectors that are expecting higher than average salary increases in 2018.  Quebec is expected to see the highest increase at 2.6%, followed by British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, each of which is expected to see a 2.4% increase.

Projected salary increase by province is as follows:

British Columbia 2.4
Alberta 1.8
Saskatchewan 2.2
Manitoba 2.3
Ontario 2.2
Quebec 2.6
New Brunswick 2.1
Nova Scotia 2.1
Prince Edward Island 1.9
Newfoundland and Labrador 2.4
Territories 1.9
National average 2.3

The sector where the highest salary increase is expected, meanwhile, is utilities at 2.9%, followed by manufacturing and wholesale trade at 2.7%.

Worse news for those in other sectors facing less certain economic circumstances, including mining and oil and gas extraction, where salaries are expected to increase by just 0.8%. Increases in the public sector are also expected to be below average.

The breakdown of expected increases for some major industry groups

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation 2.1
Educational Services 1.9
Finance and Insurance 2.7
Health Care and Social Assistance 1.7
Manufacturing 2.7
Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction 0.8
Other Services (except Public Administration) 2.1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 2.6
Public Administration 1.7
Retail Trade 2.0
Transportation and Warehousing 2.6
Utilities 2.9
Wholesale Trade 2.7
National average  2.3

Now let’s talk about the best way to go about getting that salary increase. In most cases, you have to ask for it, since employers aren’t usually in the habit of giving people more money unprompted.

Here are tips for asking for a raise, and getting it.

Be sure you deserve it – Are you bringing value to the organization? Are you a high performing employee? Or do you show up late, look busy for most of the day, then sneak out early? If the answer is the latter, maybe now isn’t the time to be asking for more.

Schedule a meeting – Don’t ask for a raise by email or text message – or spring it on the manager in the hallway. Set up a meeting.

Check your timing – Don’t ask for a raise when the company is losing money, after a round of layoffs, when the manager is otherwise distracted, or on your first day back from vacation. If something in the organization is unstable or in flux, bide your time.

Do it on a high – Choose a time after a big professional achievement on your part

Be prepared – Come armed with examples of why you’re worth it – be ready to show how you’ve increased revenue, saved money, or brought value in some other way. Don’t assume they know your value. They should but it’s unfortunately not uncommon for Senior Management to totally overlook an employee’s accomplishments. Sometimes they need to be shown.

Don’t say you “need the money” – A raise isn’t about your needs but about your value. It doesn’t matter that you need to pay your credit card bills or send your kid to camp. It’s about what you’re worth to the company. Prove your worth, not your neediness.

Don’t give an ultimatum – Don’t say you’ll quit if you don’t get a raise unless you’re ready to do so. They might not be able or willing to give you one, and you’ll find yourself without a job, because even if you’re bluffing and you back out, they’ll start looking for ways to get rid of you.

Finally, according to research conducted by LinkedIn, the months during which the most raises are given are January, June, and July. January is probably because most companies work on a calendar year and this is when people get their new budgets. And June and July because other companies end their fiscal year in June, so for the same reason.

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