Quebec survey on salary increases for 2011-2012: exclusive Quebec figures

As part of its annual study on salary increase projections, the findings of which are released today in Montreal, the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, launched a new initiative, joining forces with Normadin Beaudry to present forecasts for Quebec for the very first time. This initiative is intended to better equip Quebec organizations to meet the province’s specific regional and sectoral challenges.

Compensation experts representing 175 organizations with more than 73,000 employees in all responded to the survey. “This new data, specific to Quebec, closely reflects the province’s particular geographic and sectoral situation. There’s no doubt that it will help businesses more effectively position their salary practices in relation to market practices,” pointed out Florent Francoeur, CHRP, Ordre president and CEO.

Normandin Beaudry identified the following labour market trends in relation to salary increases.

Caution and performance in a fragile economy
Given the fragility of the economic recovery, upward fluctuations of the consumer price index and a stable but high unemployment rate, actual salary increases in 2011 and forecasts for 2012 indicate that Quebec employers remain cautious and concerned about the need to recognize individual performance when it comes to salary reviews.

Accordingly, Quebec organizations expect to increase salaries by an average 2.7%, including freezes, for 2011-2012. Projected budgets are thus slightly higher than the budgets allocated in 2009 and 2010 (2.2% and 2.5% respectively) and are consistent with the cautious approach adopted by employers in the last two years. These budgets are still much lower than those granted before the economic crisis, when they hovered around 3.6%.

According to Philip Longpré, CHRP, senior consultant with Normandin Beaudry’s compensation and performance team, “Quebec employers appear to be more confident about the economy and want to continue the salary increases of recent years. What’s more, the leading economic indicators are now showing contradictory trends, i.e. a still high unemployment rate combined with inflationist pressures that are hard to anticipate, forcing decision-makers to remain cautious. Depending on when various employers in Quebec will in fact award salary increases, we could see a significant difference in what was projected this summer and what will actually be granted in 2012, which will reflect the ups and downs of the economy.”

Some regional differences
Quebec City’s salary increase budgets are higher (3.0%) than those of Montreal (2.7%) and the rest of the province. In the next few years we can expect to see Montreal salaries match those in Quebec City. Previous regional differences between the two cities amounted to about 5%.

This first Quebec edition of the survey also highlights the differences between employers in Montreal and suburban businesses located in the industrial parks on the South and North Shores. For instance, salary increase budgets of employers in the outlying regions of the city are slightly lower for professionals, administrative and technical employees than in Montreal itself (2.4% versus 2.7%).

Quebec small businesses seem to be more generous than medium-sized businesses
Another significant difference is the fact that salary increase budgets in small businesses are considerably higher than in medium-sized businesses. For example, the difference is substantial for managers, amounting to 3.4% for companies with less than 50 employees, 3.0% for those with between 151 and 250 employees, and 2.6% for those with between 501 and 1,000 employees.

For Florent Francoeur, it’s imperative that Quebec organizations ensure fair and equitable compensation. “In the current economic environment, it’s obvious that businesses will no longer be able to rely solely on the salaries they offer to attract new talent and retain their employees. Quebec businesses will have to introduce non-monetary measures recognizing employee performance to remain competitive,” concluded Francoeur.

Click here for the complete survey results. (In French only.)

For more information about this survey and its findings, contact Philip Longpré, CHRP, senior consultant, Compensation and performance, at Normandin Beaudry: 514 285-1122, ext. 240,

Information about the Rendez-vous de la rémunération meeting
Where: Hyatt Regency, Montreal
When: October 4, 2011, from 8:20 to 4:30

About the Ordre
With close to 8,500 members, the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés is the fifth largest association of its kind in the world. It is the only organization in Quebec mandated to award human resources professionals a title certifying their competency.

The Ordre is a leader in employee management practices. Committed to innovation, it supports the ongoing development of human resources professionals (CHRPs) and industrial relations counsellors (CIRCs), thus helping to maintain a healthy balance between employee well-being and organizational success. It is vigilant in ensuring that this multifaceted function promotes leading-edge solutions that address the major issues impacting the workforce. 
Through its actions in the public arena, the Ordre contributes to the advancement and reputation of the profession and plays a key influential role in the world of work in Quebec.