* Net 13 pct of employers plan to add new jobs in 1st qtr
* Mining only sector with fewer firms planning to hire
* Transportation and public utility most bullish at 21 pct
* More than 300,000 jobs unfilled due to "talent mismatch"
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, Dec 11 Canadian employers have a
brighter outlook for adding jobs in the new year, with
transportation and public utility companies the most bullish,
but a cautious mood on the economy still prevails, according to
a survey released on Tuesday.
In a quarterly survey of more than 1,900 Canadian employers
by staffing firm Manpower Inc, a net 13 percent expected
to add new jobs in the first quarter of 2013.
The seasonally adjusted figure is up from 11 percent in the
previous quarter, but marginally less than 14 percent a year
"The mood out there is they're cautious. They're not
necessarily optimistic," said Byrne Luft, a vice president with
Manpower Canada, a unit of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based staff
The survey measures the difference between employers who say
they will add jobs and those planning to cut positions.
Seven percent of firms expected to trim jobs next quarter,
while 78 percent planned to keep staffing levels unchanged, with
2 percent of companies unsure of their hiring plans.
Manpower's survey follows Canada's report on Friday that the
country created 59,300 net new jobs in November - far above
expectations and considered a surprising comeback during a
period of sluggish economic growth.
The Manpower survey showed a significant turn in hiring
intentions from the fourth quarter, when the construction and
education sectors were among the only industries to show a net
increase in hiring plans.
"There are a lot of vacancies today in Canada - over
300,000. It just goes to show you the gap we're seeing in
Canada, as far as the skills we have available or the jobs that
are open, that gap is widening and it's problematic," said Luft.
"We're really starting to see companies go abroad to hire
outside of Canada to fill those vacancies with what they call
RESOURCE COMPANIES EXPECT LESS HIRING
Transportation and public utility companies are the most
bullish about the new year, with employers reporting a net
employment outlook of 21 percent, up from 16 percent the
previous quarter and 11 percent a year ago. Luft noted hiring in
the utilities sector generally spikes in the first quarter
because of the weather.
The resource sector was the only industry where there was a
marked decline in companies planning to hire. Luft attributed
much of the change to falling energy prices. Only 8 percent of
firms were planning to add jobs, down from 17 percent a quarter
earlier and 18 percent a year ago.
U.S. light crude oil futures are off more than 13
percent so far this year and down more than 6 percent this
More companies in services, construction, education,
finance, insurance and real estate also expect to hire next
quarter compared with the last quarter as well as a year ago.
"Finance and insurance in Canada is very strong. ... Our
clients are constantly hiring in that space. A lot of it, too,
is that they have positions they can't fill," said Luft.
Manufacturing companies, wholesale and retail trade firms
and the public administration sector were steady in their hiring
expectations from a quarter earlier, but plan to add fewer
workers than a year ago.
In particular, 6 percent of manufacturers of non-durable
goods plan to add new jobs next quarter, up from 5 percent last
quarter, but down from 13 percent a year earlier.