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July 08, 2021

Are you expecting a wage freeze this year?

Hey, at least somebody’s getting a raise.

As local Chinese governments raise minimum-wage requirements — and impatient workers clamour for higher salaries — pay scales in China are expected to rise sharply.

Foxconn, China's largest contract manufacturer, which produces goods for Apple and other electronics giants, implemented a one-time minimum-wage increase of more than 33% to 1,200 yuan a month — only to double that bump a week later. And Honda workers recently won a 35% pay raise following two week strike.

Back on the farm here in Canada, things don’t look as promising. The average salary increase is projected to be 2.8% nationally this year, up from the 2.2% increase actually awarded in 2009. In fact, 6.5 % of employers are planning to freeze salaries altogether, according to Hewitt & Associates.

Alberta's nurses, for instance, recently signed for a three-year deal recommended by a mediator which calls for a wage freeze in the first year, a 2% "productivity" payment in the second year and a 4% wage increase in the third year.

Their last three-year contract netted them 5% salary increases each year, making senior nurses in the province among the best paid in Canada.

But that was then. Manitoba’s NDP government, for instance, recently announced it would seek a wage freeze for its public employees, prompting community college workers to gear up for a strike.

There is some good news, however: About 20% of employers have money set aside to reward employees who are high performers or who have ‘hot skills’ that are in demand.

What about you? Do you expect to get a raise this year? Or are you just hanging on?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...