One-third of employers in Western Canada forecasting positive employment growth

Alberta, Saskatchewan least optimistic: Survey

One-third (32 per cent) of organizations in Western Canada forecast positive employment growth from January to June 2016, with Alberta (26 per cent) and Saskatchewan (30 per cent) having the smallest number of organization’s expecting positive employment growth. 

That’s according to a survey of 1,383 respondents from the Human Resources Management Association (HRMA), Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA), Saskatchewan Association of Human Resource Professionals (SAHRP) and Human Resources Management Association of Manitoba (HRMAM). 

Each provincial association also released a separate HR Trends Report: 

British Columbia and the Yukon: Large organizations in B.C. and the Yukon have the lowest hiring confidence (55.4 per cent) across all of Western Canada. 

“B.C. and the Yukon’s hiring confidence is in line with that of Western Canada, with small organizations expecting the strongest employment growth. The job market appears to be seen as strong. Encouragingly, 50 per cent of HR managers are confident about recruiting replacement workers with equivalent qualifications and experience as well as workers who are the right fit,” said Anthony Ariganello, CEO of HRMA. 

Alberta: 75 per cent of oil and gas organizations reported a net decrease in employment between July and December 2015. 

 “The labour market pendulum has swung to the other side as Alberta employers try to keep their balance in this new economic reality. While organizational confidence in finding the right candidates to fill vacant positions has increased to 62 per cent, the number of organizations expecting to hire more employees falls further to just 26 per cent,” said Chris McNelly, CEO or HRIA. 

“Most concerning though is that learning and development budgets are being cut across all sectors, jeopardizing Alberta’s competitive advantage and innovative edge and threatening our ability to remain resilient during this economic storm.”  

Saskatchewan: Only 14 per cent of organizations forecast a net decrease in employment from January to June 2016, whereas 76.7 per cent expect to stay the same size.                                                                                                           

“Saskatchewan has had a very healthy and active labour market,” said Nicole Norton Scott, executive director and registrar at SAHRP. “Hiring managers are confident they can fill vacancies with qualified employees. Over the last six months, in 75 per cent of the cases, the reasons attributed to employees leaving organizations are retirement, better job opportunities and personal reasons. In comparison with the rest of Western Canada, Saskatchewan has not experienced significant job loss due to terminations and layoffs in the latter part of 2015.” 

Manitoba: The most expected reason to lose staff throughout the first half of 2016 is retirement. 

“In Manitoba, HR professionals... expect to see a higher rate of retirement related turnover than our Western counterparts. This is an indicator of a healthy job market in an aging society. Overall, HR professionals have told us that they are confident they will be able to hire qualified staff,” said Ron Gauthier, CEO and CHRP registrar at HRMAM.                                                                          

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