New Survey: Despite Tight Labour Market, Wage Growth Remains in Check

Majority of Businesses Expect Stagnant Wages in Q3

Almost 1/3 Will Increase Wages

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 26, 2017) - Express Employment Professionals released new survey results revealing that despite the low unemployment rate, many businesses are not increasing wages.

In a survey of 533 North American businesses, respondents were asked, "Over the next three months, do you expect wages at your company to increase, decrease, or stay the same?"

Two-thirds, or 67 per cent, said wages at their companies would "stay the same," a number unchanged from the last quarterly survey.

On the bright side, 31 per cent of respondents said they would increase wages, and only 2 per cent expect wages to decrease.

Full results are below.

"This survey indicates that as many as one-in-three employees might look for a pay bump in the coming quarter. So, there's certainly good news for some, but most workers will probably see unchanged wages," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express. "Going forward, as the labour market continues to tighten, we would expect to see higher rates of wage increases over the coming quarters."

Bruce Hein, Express franchise owner in Sarnia, says he has seen a change over time.

"We have been having conversations with our clients for the last couple of years about the need for more flexible compensation," he said. "It is a very tight recruiting market, so our clients have willingly increased wages in an effort to attract the top talent that all businesses are struggling to find and retain."

Jessica Culo, who owns Express franchises in Edmonton, says she expects her local market may see higher wages in the future. But for now, it's hiring that is on the rise.

"Companies are starting to hire, which is a step in the right direction," she said. "As things continue to improve, I certainly expect to see an increase in wage demands as well. Our clients typically start to increase wages when they are enticing employees to leave their current jobs. When this happens, it's an economically healthy way to drive wage averages."

Full results are available at:

The survey of 533 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in June 2017 to gauge respondents' expectations for the third quarter of 2017. Previous surveys were conducted to cover hiring trends of the quarters indicated.

If you would like to arrange for an interview to discuss this topic, please contact Kellie Major at (613) 222-7488 or email

About Robert A. Funk

Robert A. "Bob" Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 770 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

About Express Employment Professionals

Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.05 billion in sales and employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts:
Kellie Major

Sheena Karami