Tech salaries to remain high despite sector downturn

28 February 2023 2 min. read

Technology professional salaries in Canada will remain high despite a wave of layoffs, according to Morgan McKinley’s 2023 Salary Guide. The recruitment consultancy's annual report presents up-to-date salary data and benchmarks for a wide range of technology roles in Canada, as well as appetite for job-switching and employee salary expectations.

“Many technology companies in Canada will be approaching 2023 cautiously, having learnt some important lessons last year,” Ian Kinsella, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley Canada, said. “When faced with a market correction, many leaders came forward to say they made mistakes and hired aggressively.”

Despite headline-grabbing workforce cuts at firms like Meta, Google, Shopify, and Affirm, a majority (60%) of employers in Canada expect salaries in their sector will rise in 2023. Ninety percent of employers reported having to increase salaries to retain staff last year, while 70% had to offer higher than expected salaries to attract new employees.

The average full-time tech salary in Canada is $72,000 a year, according to Morgan McKinley’s survey.

The state of salaries in Canada

“Even with a market correction and a potential global recession, our guide showed that technology salaries in Canada increased,” Kinsella said. “A key difference is that the $200K job offers that were frequent in 2021 for individual contributors working across product, software, and SRE were few and far between.”

Kinsella expects the contracting market to be buoyant this year as companies use contractors to get around hiring freezes.

Most Canadian tech employees (59%) expect their salaries to increase this year, while 23% think it will stay flat. Sixty-five percent are expecting a bonus payout of some sort.

Technology employees still have a strong appetite for changing jobs, with three-quarters (76%) looking to move jobs in the first half of 2023. The top reason for wanting to move, as always, is a higher salary.

Half of employers believe they will lose staff in the first half of 2023 due to higher salaries elsewhere.

Flexible work remains a key attractor, however, with 65% of prospective applicants preferring to go into the office 1-2 days per week.