Companies lower their 2009 compensation increases due to economic uncertainty

    TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - Canadian workers will receive lower wage
increases in 2009 as organizations focus on cost cutting and efficiency drives
in this uncertain economic environment, according to the Conference Board's
2009 Compensation Planning Outlook, released today.
    "Even before the financial crisis began in September, organizations were
projecting lower increases for 2009," said Prem Benimadhu, Vice-President,
Governance and Human Resources Management. "Although companies continue to
face challenges in attracting and retaining talent, the global economic
slowdown has made cost reduction a top priority. The projected average
non-union increase in 2009 could fall about half a percentage point from the
3.9 per cent reported by respondents to our annual survey, conducted before
the financial crisis began."
    When the Conference Board conducted its 27th annual survey from June to
August 2008, compensation planners expected non-union wage increases to
average 3.9 per cent. Actual wage increases averaged 4.2 per cent in 2008. A
total of 395 Canadian organizations responded to the survey, the findings of
which are reported in Compensation Planning Outlook 2009: Economic Uncertainty
Spells Caution Ahead.
    Workers in the oil and gas industry are again expected to lead the
country in average wage growth, although the projected increases in 2009 will
fall below the six per cent gains these employees made in 2008. The lowest
increases are expected in the beleaguered manufacturing sector, and in the
communications and telecommunications industry.
    Wage increases will vary significantly across Canada in 2009. Increases
in the four western provinces are expected to exceed four per cent on average,
with Alberta' s non-unionized workers gaining an average of 5.1 per cent.
Increases in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces are expected to fall
below the national average.

For further information:

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

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