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.

Just Posted

Victim in 2015 murder stabbed a dozen times

Daniel Boyd Sawyer on trial for second-degree murder

North Pole Stroll returns with Red Deer Lights the Night, Late Night Shopping

Red Deer’s Lights the Night and late night shopping events are back… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s Canyon Ski Resort is ready for the 2019 Canada Winter Games

The upgrades prepare the resort to host free-style skiing and snowboarding events

Red Deer man patrols streets at night after his truck was stolen twice in 3 months

‘I stay up every single night, they drive around, they test every car door…’

Lowry has strong words for Raptors’ lack of communication after loss

TORONTO — Raptors coach Nick Nurse might not have had a good… Continue reading

S. Korea’s ‘Garlic Girls’ accuse coaches of derailing team

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The Garlic Girls, South Korea’s hugely popular… Continue reading

Trump administration defends its case against CNN’s Acosta

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to fend off a… Continue reading

Long hidden, Marie Antoinette’s jewels go up for auction

GENEVA — Diamond and pearl earrings, pearl necklaces, a giant pearl pendant… Continue reading

A No-Go: Athletes and officials weigh in after Calgary votes ‘no’ to 2026 bid

TORONTO — Rotating Olympic hosts? A single go-to destination every four years?… Continue reading

Predators may have NHL’s best goalie combo on, off ice

NASHVILLE — Pekka Rinne is off to an even better start than… Continue reading

Canadian Premier League buys Ontario’s League 1, looks to develop talent there

TORONTO — The Canadian Premier League has bought Ontario’s League 1 and… Continue reading

Most Read