Nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of employees in Canada are considering leaving their current jobs and exploring better opportunities elsewhere this year, according to a new survey by Hays PLC.

The survey, which polled 4,500 respondents, found among workers planning to stay at their current jobs, a quarter (25 per cent) said they’d consider leaving when the economy and unemployment rates improve. More than half (55 per cent) of workers said they’re feeling more stressed this year than last year and 46 per cent said they’re unmotivated to work.

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A majority (87 per cent) of employers said they expect to implement pay raises in the next 12 months, while 59 per cent of employees said they intend to ask for a pay raise, a third (33 per cent) of whom said they were expecting an increase of three to five per cent. Another 23 per cent said they were looking for a 10 per cent increase, an amount that just eight per cent of employers said they were planning to give.

Most employers said they intend to increase salaries from three to five per cent (51 per cent), while 20 per cent said they plan to increase pay by one to two per cent (20 per cent). Just a handful (eight per cent) said they intend to increase salaries between six and nine per cent. Notably, 13 per cent said they aren’t planning to provide any increases to employee pay.

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

Other incentives outside of salary increases that employees said they valued were recognition (35 per cent), training (29 per cent) and responsibility and promotion (29 per cent). They also said they wanted extra vacation days, support for professional study and health and wellness programs.

While 27 per cent of employees expressed a preference for fully remote work in their future job searches, 88 per cent of employers said they’re aiming for a hybrid or fully onsite role this year. Among the top reasons that employers cited for wanting people in the office more often were to increase productivity, to align with their organizational culture and for training and development.

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