Job market recovery expected in second quarter: CRHA

Hiring expectations up 2.9 per cent

After a difficult start to the year, HR professionals expect to see the job market pick up in the second quarter of 2012, according to a survey released by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA) in Montreal.

For the second quarter of 2012, the net difference in hiring expectations (percentage of respondents expecting an increase less the percentage expecting a decrease) amounts to 25.5 per cent, or an increase of 2.9 per cent over the previous quarter. However, these results are lower than last year's anticipated hiring growth of 45.5 per cent, found the Flash-Emploi CRHA.

Some 22.9 per cent of the 305 CRHA members surveyed expect an increase in hours worked versus only 2.9 per cent who expect the contrary, for a net difference of 17.4 per cent. This is an improvement of 12.1 percentage points in relation to data collected three months earlier.

Survey respondents do not seem to feel the impact of the labour shortage as severely as the preceding quarter or during the same period in 2011, found CRHA. They plan to step up recruitment efforts by 43 per cent, which amounts to a decline of 16.6 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2012 and 13.1 per cent compared to last year.

"After a more difficult period in early 2012, the survey shows that the job market is emerging from its hibernation. Together with encouraging unemployment figures and the optimism of employers in Quebec and the rest of Canada, all signs point to the second quarter being a good period for both organizations and workers," said Florent Francoeur, president and CEO of CRHA.

Companies with fewer than 99 employees appear to be recovering more quickly than those with more than 100 employees. Not only are they in "hiring mode" at 45.6 per cent but 5.1 per cent also plan to award salary increases that are higher than inflation. The manufacturing sector plans to increase its recruitment efforts by more than 20 per cent and hours worked will rise by 23.9 per cent in comparison to the previous quarter.

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