The average national salary increase in Canada rose to 2.8 per cent (excluding freezes), similar to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, signalling that rising vaccination numbers, low unemployment rates and a tight labour market are having an effect on employers’ compensation practices, according to a new survey by Normandin Beaudry.

While 20 per cent of Canadian companies said they were planning to freeze salaries last summer, only eight per cent of this group reported that they actually did in 2021 and just three per cent said they intend to do so in 2022.

Read: Employers concerned about retaining valued staff amid salary cuts, freezes: survey

In fact, many of the companies in sectors greatly affected by the pandemic said they’re forecasting salary increase budgets for 2022 (excluding freezes) that are more generous than those forecasted for 2021, which the survey noted indicates a desire to catch up. And among those sectors, three — manufacturing, construction and information technology — were at or just above the three per cent mark.

Notably, the largest organizations polled were also the ones expecting to grant the most modest pay increases in 2022. For organizations with $1 billion and more in revenue, the survey found the average increase budget is 2.5 per cent, compared to three per cent for smaller organizations with $50 million or less in revenue.

Read: Fewer companies planning 2021 salary freezes than last summer: survey