Salary increases may be higher than expected in Alberta’s energy sector: Survey

Stabilization in oil prices has altered compensation outlook
|payroll-reporter.com|Last Updated: 02/16/2017
Oil Pump
An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary, July 21, 2014. Pump jacks are used to pump crude oil out of the ground after an oil well has been drilled. REUTERS/Todd Korol

Stabilization in oil prices is causing organizations in Alberta's energy sector to adjust their salary projections since the summer, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Mid-Year Pulse Check survey.

“Canadian organizations’ projected salary increases have generally remained unchanged since the summer except for apparent shifts at industry and regional levels,” said Allison Cowan, director of the board’s total rewards program. 

“In particular, we are seeing energy sector organizations responding to the steadied price of oil with greater confidence in business conditions and a slightly better compensation outlook.”

Seventy-seven per cent of oil and gas organizations believe business conditions will improve this year, compared to just nine per cent in 2016, the survey said.

Projected salary increases in the utilities industry have increased slightly from 1.4 per cent in the summer to 1.9 per cent now and the oil and gas industry has seen an uptick from 1.1 per cent in the summer to 1.4 per cent.

However, overall salary increase projections have remained muted since the summer as labour market slack continues to put downward pressure on wages.

Regionally, most organizations’ projected increases remain in line with those made in the summer with the exceptions of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Alberta organizations are projecting slightly higher increases since the summer, from 1.4 to 1.6 per cent. In Saskatchewan, they have decreased their projections from 2.4 per cent to 1.9 per cent.

A total of 208 organizations participated in the Conference Board of Canada’s December survey.

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