More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of Canadian employers say they’re increasing salaries this year, up from 66 per cent in 2022 and 55 per cent in 2021, according to a new survey by the Harris Poll on behalf of Express Services Inc.

The survey, which polled more than 500 employers, found a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents said uncompetitive pay is their No. 1 challenge in attracting new talent.

Read: 75% of employers expecting hiring challenges in 2023: survey

While more than half (56 per cent) of employers said they don’t have the capacity to hire additional workers in 2023, 49 per cent said they plan to expand their workforce this year. Among employers planning to hire in the first half of the year, the main reasons cited were managing increased workloads (50 per cent), filling newly created positions (48 per cent) and addressing employee turnover (46 per cent).

“Balancing overall business costs with necessary hires is critical, and it seems like many employers are taking a wait-and-see approach with market conditions before increasing their headcount,” said Bill Stoller, chief executive officer at Express Services, in a press release. “But overall, this is great news for job seekers. The majority of businesses need workers, so for those on the sidelines, now is a great time to find the right opportunity.”

Read: Survey finds half of employers hiring for new permanent roles in first half of 2023