The 'Alberta effect' drives wage increases across Canada



    TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Wage increases for non-unionized Canadian
employees are expected to average 3.9 per cent in 2008, with the highest
increases going to workers in labour-starved western Canadian provinces,
according to the Conference Board's 26th annual survey of Canadian
organizations, released today at the 2007 Compensation Outlook conference.
    "The shortage of workers in Alberta is creating a ripple effect, putting
upward pressure on wages across the country," said Prem Benimadhu,
Vice-President, Governance and Human Resources Management. "As a consequence,
attracting and retaining talent is the number-one priority for compensation
and human resource leaders."
    All four western provinces are expected to see average wage gains above
the national average. Pay increases for non-unionized workers are expected to
average 5.2 per cent in Alberta, 4.6 per cent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba,
and 4.2 per cent in British Columbia. In contrast, organizations in Quebec,
Ontario and the Atlantic provinces are forecasting increases below the
national average.
    The oil and gas industry is projecting increases of 5.7 per cent in 2008,
highest among all industries. Alberta's surging economy will continue to drive
competition for workers. Moreover, the province's labour market is expected to
become even tighter, since the number of people relocating to Alberta is
subsiding due to high costs of living and improved economic opportunities in
neighboring provinces.
    Above-average increases are also expected in construction, natural
resources (excluding oil and gas), and transportation and utilities sectors.
The lowest average increases, at 3.1 per cent, are projected in
communications/telecommunications, and services sectors.
    Wage settlements for unionized workers are forecast to average 3.1 per
cent in 2008.
    Compensation Planning Outlook 2008: The "Alberta Effect" Puts Upward
Pressure on Pay, the 26th edition of the publication, is based on the
responses of 319 Canadian organizations conducted in the summer of 2007.




For further information:

For further information: Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, (613) 526-3090
ext. 448, corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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