Wage anxiety to continue undercutting Canadians' spending

by Ephraim Vecina on 20 Jun 2018

Canadian employees remained doubtful that even a change in jobs will lead them to better financial straits, according to a new poll conducted by Nanos Research Group for Bloomberg.

This is despite the national jobs market exhibiting the lowest unemployment levels in 4 decades and the greatest pay gains in years.

Only 10% of the respondents to the survey said that their wages would increase if they switch jobs, while approximately 70% stated that their pay would still be around the same level or even less. Economists have previously argued that the capacity to change jobs is an important contributor to productivity gains.

Read more: Canadian home buyers undaunted by rising rates – study

“The research suggests that job sentiment does not connect with macroeconomic data on the low unemployment rate,” Nanos Research Group chair Nik Nanos said. “The forward look on wages is three times more bleak than positive and speaks to a significant level of anxiety.”

The lack of confidence was most apparent among workers in the Prairie provinces, which are still recovering from the oil price crash.

Compounding the issue is that Canada’s rates of firings and voluntary turnovers are both at historic lows, which can be attributed to older workers that highly value job security over any potential or actual wage increases.

 

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