While 2013 ended on a down note, with the loss of 48,000 jobs across Canada in December, Canadian workers are entering 2014 with a cautiously optimistic outlook for the job market and economy overall this year, according to a survey released by Randstad.
Three in 10 respondents (30 per cent) said they feel more confident in the strength of the Canadian economy heading into 2014 than they were entering 2013, while another 50 per cent said they felt about the same amount of confidence heading into this year as they did last.
Those in Alberta (35 per cent) and British Columbia (32 per cent) are the most confident in the strength of the Canadian economy heading into 2014, while those in Quebec (27 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (22 per cent) are the least, found the survey of 2,076 employees and managers.
While nearly one-half (48 per cent) of respondents said they feel about the same amount of confidence in the job market in 2014 as they did in 2013, those that do feel differently than last year are decidedly split. While one-quarter (25 per cent) of respondents felt more confident in the job market heading into this year, slightly more (27 per cent) said they actually feel less confident this year than they did at the beginning of last year.
Respondents working in a managerial or executive position are significantly more confident (30.3 per cent) than their below-manager counterparts (19.2 per cent). Younger workers (under the age of 35) are also much more confident in the job market this year (30.5 per cent) than those who are well into their careers (35-54 - 21.9 per cent), found the Randstad Canada Labour Trends Study.
As with expectations for the strength of the economy, those living in Western Canada (British Columbia and Alberta) are substantially more confident in the job market this year (30.4 per cent and 31.3 per cent respectively) than those on the East Coast and in Quebec (18.1 per cent and 23.3 per cent respectively). Those living in Atlantic Canada (33.8 per cent) and Ontario (31.9 per cent) are the most likely to feel less confident in the job market in 2014 than they were in 2013.
One-third to look for new job
Of those polled, one-third said they expect it will be more difficult to find a new job in 2014 than it was in 2013, with 20 per cent expecting it be easier than last year. Third-one per cent of those currently employed said they are likely to look for a new job in 2014.
Younger workers (under 35) are much more likely to look for a new job in 2014 — 46.5 per cent intend to look this year, compared to 31 per cent overall. Workers in Ontario (35 per cent), Alberta (33 per cent) and B.C. (33 per cent) are the most likely to look for a new job in 2014, while those in Quebec (24 per cent) are the least likely.
Employers, employees expect to ask more of each other
Employers (managers and executives) said that in order for them to contribute to their organization's success in 2014, employees need to expect greater demands on productivity (65 per cent), greater expectations for better results with budgets similar to or below 2013 levels (64 per cent) and greater expectations for new tasks as a part of their everyday roles (61 per cent).
Workers are also expecting employers to bring more to the table this year. In order to contribute to their employees' job satisfaction, employers will need to provide better performance incentives and financial rewards (45 per cent), better work-life balance (42 per cent) and better training and development opportunities for employees (39 per cent) in 2014, found Randstad.
© Copyright Canadian HR Reporter, Thomson Reuters Canada Limited. All rights reserved.