Go west for the big money

Pipe fitters and plumbers in the oil and gas industry in Western Canada can expect higher salary increases this year than retail and hospitality workers, says a new study.

Pipe fitters and plumbers in the oil and gas industry in Western Canada can expect higher salary increases this year than retail and hospitality workers, says a new study.

The oil and gas sectors in Saskatchewan and Alberta are expected to have the highest average salary increase at 4.5 per cent, up from 4.2 per cent last fall, the Conference Board of Canada said Tuesday.

Engineers and project managers as well as electricians and welders are also in demand, said Ian Cullwick, the board’s vice-president, leadership and human resources leadership.

“Alberta and Saskatchewan just have a huge demand for those skill sets,” he said from Ottawa.

Non-unionized salary gains are projected at three per cent nationally for 2013, with salary gains in the heavily populated provinces of Ontario and Quebec expected under that average.

Workers in hospitality, tobacco and manufacturing industries can expect lower salary increases of 2.3 per cent and retail workers 2.2 per cent, down from 2.9 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively.

“In hospitality and retail, they have more transient workforces.

“They’ve got part timers and contract workers.

“They’ve got part-time workers that are students as well,” Cullwick said.

For unskilled and semi-skilled labour, he said, the implications are higher levels of unemployment and lower salary gains.

“You could argue it’s almost two divides,” he said, adding that there’s a “misalignment” for producing specialized skills and trades versus general university programs that are “educating” but not necessarily developing skill sets.

For Quebec, the Conference Board projected salary gains to be below the national average at 2.7 per cent, while projections for Ontario and British Columbia are at 2.5 per cent.

“We don’t have the same boom that’s coming from the resource and energy sectors,” added Allison Cowan, senior research associate of compensation and industrial relations at the Conference Board.

Manufacturing continues to be challenging in Ontario and to some extent in Quebec, Cowan said.

While teachers and health-care workers, such as nurses, can expect salary gains of 2.6 per cent, in line with last year.

Unionized employees in the private sector should see wage increases averaging 2.3 per cent this year, up from 2.1 per cent in 2012, the board said.

Those in the public sector can expect to see their wages rise by an average of 1.6 per cent, down from the 1.8 per cent forecast last summer.

Cullwick said the private sector has been coming out of the 2009 recession while the public sector is “essentially in a financial recession.”

The four Atlantic provinces are expected to see a three per cent increase in non-union salaries this year, in line with previous estimates, and Manitoba salaries are still expected to rise 3.3 per cent over the coming year.

By contrast, Alberta’s increases are now expected to come in at 3.9 per cent, which is one-tenth of a point better than expected, while the estimate for Saskatchewan has been raised by three-tenths of a point to four per cent.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read