Post-pandemic hiring outlooks still moderate

Roughly 1 in 5 Canadian employers anticipate cutbacks in first quarter of 2023

Post-pandemic hiring outlooks still moderate

Canadian employers expect steady, yet moderating, hiring in Q1 2024, according to First ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey for 2024.

The survey of over 1,000 employers reveals that 41% intend to increase their staffing levels in the first quarter of 2023, while 16% anticipate cutbacks, resulting in a net employment outlook of +25%.  This is down 2% from Q4 2023 and -8% year-over-year.

“Even though the Net Employment Outlook has decreased 2% since last quarter and -8% year-over-year, hiring expectations remain positive for all regions and all industries. The net employment of +25% closely aligns with the global average (+26%),” said to Darlene Minatel, Country Manager, ManpowerGroup Canada.

The survey also found that the strongest hiring is anticipated in the Northern Territories with a net outlook of +34%. Meanwhile, the weakest outlook is expected in Ontario at +23%. All regions are expecting muted hiring compared to last year at this time.

The net employment outlook for each region is as follows:

  • Northern territories: 34%
  • Atlantic Canada: 30%
  • Prairie: 30%
  • Quebec: 27%
  • Western Canada 25%
  • Ontario: 23%

Additionally, the talent shortage continues to persist and impact employers, with 80% of those surveys reporting difficulty in finding skilled talent, which is a 10-year high and is above the global average of 75%.

Most in-demand skills, sectors

The top five most in-demand skills are IT & data, operations & logistics, sales & marketing, engineering, and administration/office support, and as companies adopt more sustainable practices, employers estimate at least 46% of all technical skills will need to evolve to keep pace with the green transition.

Finance and real estate is the sector with the highest projected net employment outlook at +35%. This is followed by energy and utilities (+33%), health care and life sciences (+29%), consumer goods and services (+29%), information technology (+29%), industrials and materials (+28%), communication services (+22%), and transport, logistics and automotive (+21%).

The next survey will be released in March and will report hiring expectations for the second quarter of 2024.

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