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Among the 36 per cent of Canadian employers that say they’ve made changes to their initial 2024 salary budgets, more than half (56 per cent) decreased their budget, according to a new survey by Normandin Beaudry.

The survey, which polled more than 400 employers, found the average Canadian salary increase budget for 2024 remained steady at 3.6 per cent, unchanged from last summer. However, on a year-over-year basis, the average salary increase budget is expected to decline after the upward trajectory observed between 2021 and 2023.

Read: Canadian employers projecting smaller compensation increases in 2024: survey

Two-fifths (41 per cent) of employers said they’re budgeting for additional salary flexibility, setting aside, on average, an additional 0.9 per cent. More than two-thirds (67 per cent) said they’re prioritizing the competitiveness of their total rewards programs, including benefits and employer-sponsored retirement plans, to support talent attraction and retention efforts.

“Companies are trying to find the right balance between managing their compensation spend and remaining cautiously optimistic,” said Darcy Clark, senior principal for compensation at Normandin Beaudry, in a press release. “While less bullish than last year, it’s important to note that forecasts for 2024 remain above historical norms and greater than current rates of inflation.”

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