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LifeWorks’ 2022 Salary Projection Survey reveals a return to pre-pandemic salary increases

LifeWorks’ 2022 Salary Projection Survey reveals a return to pre-pandemic salary increases

September 28, 2021

LifeWorks’ National Compensation Consulting Team recently released the 39th edition of their annual salary projection survey. The Survey results reflect input from 829 participant organizations that partook in one of Canada’s largest studies gathering salary market movements covering non-unionized employees.

Highlights from the Survey include the following:

  • Employers are projecting an annual base salary increase by an average of 2.7% in 2022 if salary freezes are excluded, or 2.5% if salary freezes are included. 
  • The actual base salary increase, excluding salary freezes, for 2021, was 2.6%, or 2.2% if salary freezes are included.
  • Actual base salary increases, excluding freezes, have remained consistent at 2.6% every year since 2018.
  • The highest projected average salary increases for 2022, excluding freezes, are expected to be in wholesale trade (3.1%), construction (3%), information technology (3%), and accommodation and food services (3%). In contrast, industries projecting the lowest salary increases include health care and social assistance (2%), educational services (2%), and information and cultural industries (1.9%). 

Canadian employers are regaining certainty as projected salary freezes decline.

  •  In 2020, 13% of organizations forecasted salary freezes in 2021 and 12% of organizations actually froze salaries in 2021.
  • This is a year-over-year improvement, as 36% of organizations froze salaries in 2020. 
  • Looking ahead, only 3.3% of organizations are planning salary freezes for 2022, while 18.3% remain undecided. This projection is a significant improvement from last year, when 46% of Canadian employers expressed uncertainty.

When considering human resources trends and metrics tied to remote work, 58% of organizations plan to adopt a hybrid model, and the majority of respondents (85%) will have some formal remote work policy in place by the end of the year.  Additional projections for 2022 indicate employers will have an increased focus towards addressing employee engagement and well-being initiatives (60%), as an essential part of talent attraction and retention.

Summary reports are available and can be downloaded at: 2022 Salary Projection Survey report