Moderate hiring climate for first quarter of 2012

Strongest forecast in Western Canada: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 12/20/2011

Canadian employers expect the hiring climate to remain moderate for the first quarter of 2012, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

With seasonal variations taken into account, the net employment outlook of 15 per cent is a slight improvement from the outlook reported in the previous quarter. This outlook also shows a two-percentage-point increase from the same time last year.

Sixteen per cent of more than 1,900 employers surveyed plan to increase their payrolls in the first quarter of 2012, while 10 per cent anticipate cutbacks, said Manpower. Seventy-one per cent expect to maintain current staffing levels and three per cent are unsure of hiring intentions for the upcoming quarter.

"The upcoming quarter's net employment outlook suggests some gains in employer optimism, particularly in the manufacturing — durables sector," said Byrne Luft, vice-president of operations and staffing services at Manpower Canada.

"Although Western Canada anticipates the most favourable hiring climate, employers in all regions and sectors are telling us that they plan to hire at a more cautious pace from January to March compared with the previous quarter. Despite slight improvement overall, many employers are evidently taking time to evaluate current market conditions and demand for their products and services before committing to additional employees. It will be interesting to see how employer optimism develops through the rest of the year."

Regionally, employers in Western Canada anticipate the strongest hiring climates for the first quarter of the year, said Luft.

"The seasonally adjusted data indicates employers expect an upbeat environment for job seekers, reporting a net employment outlook of 16 per cent. The forecast for this region is due in part to the robust hiring forecast reported by employers in the mining industry sector.”

In Quebec, employers anticipate a favourable hiring climate for the upcoming quarter, reporting a net employment outlook of 14 per cent, while employers in Ontario and Atlantic Canada project a steady first quarter with a net employment outlook of 13 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively.

Industry sectors

Employers in the mining sector anticipate an upbeat first quarter in 2012, reporting a net employment outlook of 16 per cent once seasonal variations are removed from the survey data. This is a nine-percentage-point decrease from the previous quarter. However, it is a two-percentage-point improvement from the outlook reported during the same time last year, indicating a positive hiring climate for the first quarter of 2012, said Manpower.

In transportation and public utilities, employers forecast a steady hiring climate, reporting a net employment outlook of 13 per cent for the first quarter of 2012. This is a seven-percentage-point drop from the previous quarter and a five-percentage-point decrease from the same time last year.

With a net employment outlook of 19 per cent, employers in the manufacturing — durables sector anticipate a respectable hiring climate for job seekers, found the survey. This outlook has increased from the previous quarter of 17 per cent and is an improvement from the same time last year when employers reported an outlook of 13 per cent.

In the public administration industry sector, employers anticipate a steady hiring environment for the first quarter of 2012, reporting a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of 10 per cent. This is a slight drop from the previous quarter of 14 per cent and a five-percentage-point decrease compared to the same period last year.

Reporting a net employment outlook of 13 per cent, employers in the construction sector anticipate a favourable hiring climate for the upcoming quarter, found Manpower. This is an increase from the previous quarter and on par with the same time last year.

In the services sector, employers anticipate a hopeful hiring climate for the first quarter of 2012, reporting a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of 12 per cent. This forecast remains the same as the previous quarter but is a three-percentage-point increase from the same time last year.

In finance, insurance and real estate, employers reported a net employment outlook of 10 per cent for the first quarter of 2012, indicating a positive hiring climate, said Manpower. This is a slight drop from the forecast of 12 per cent for the previous quarter and a four-percentage-point decrease from the same time last year.

In the manufacturing — non-durables industry sector, employers reported a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of 13 per cent, indicating a positive hiring climate for the first quarter of 2012, found the survey. This is a slight increase from the previous quarter of 12 per cent and a six-percentage-point improvement from the same time last year.

In the wholesale and retail trade industry sector, employers anticipate an upbeat hiring climate, reporting a net employment outlook of 13 per cent. This is an increase from the previous quarter of 11 per cent but is a two-percentage-point decrease from the same time last year.

Employers reported a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of five per cent in the education sector, indicating a modest hiring climate for the upcoming three-month period. This is a slight decrease from the previous quarter of seven per cent and is a decrease of four percentage points from the last year during the same time.

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