06/12/2012 12:46 EDT | Updated 08/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Hiring Outlook Hits 2-Year Low


Canadian employers expect to hire more people this summer, but their level of hiring intentions is still at its lowest point in two years, a survey by a major recruitment firm said Tuesday.

Manpower Group Inc. routinely polls companies on their staffing needs, and by tracking those saying they plan to add employees versus those saying they plan on cutting staff, the U.S. firm comes up with a periodical gauge of hiring intentions.

The latest survey found that 23 per cent of respondents said they intended to hire in the coming summer months, while five per cent said they would decrease payrolls.

The remainder said they planned on maintaining their current staffing levels.

The survey was conducted between April 19 and May 2 with more than 1,900 employers in Canada.

After seasonally adjusting the figures, a net 12 per cent of employers plan to hire workers during the summer. That's down from 13 per cent in this current quarter, and down from 16 per cent during the same period a year earlier. The showing is "one of the more subdued employer forecasts in more than two years," Manpower said.

There are bright spots in certain industries, however. Mining, public utilities, transportation, finance, insurance and real estate all showed higher than average hiring intentions. Manufacturing, construction, education and the services sector all came in below the average.

"Regionally, employers in Western Canada anticipate the strongest hiring climates for the upcoming quarter," Manpower Canada vice-president Byrne Luft said.

Quebec employers expect an upbeat hiring climate for the upcoming quarter, with 16 per cent expecting to hire people. Employers in Ontario and Atlantic Canada project a modest third quarter with net readings of 10 and nine per cent, respectively, Luft said.

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