| TORONTO, March 11
TORONTO, March 11 Canadian employers are looking
to hire at a slightly slower pace in the second quarter than in
both the first quarter and the same period a year earlier, the
weakest outlook in four years, according to a survey released on
The ManpowerGroup Inc report, which measures the
difference between employers foreseeing more hiring and those
planning cuts, said the net employment outlook, adjusted for
seasonal variations, was nine percent, a two percentage point
slide compared to the last quarter and a three percentage point
slide from the same period in 2013.
"From the data, the labor market has really stalled since I
would say about August, last year. This quarter, upcoming
quarter, really represents and supports that," said Byrne Luft,
vice president of operations for Manpower Canada.
"We're seeing some weakness in our forecast. It is bending
down a little bit, but nothing to be alarmed by," he said.
ManpowerGroup, one of the world's largest staffing
companies, found in its quarterly national survey of more than
1,900 employers that 78 percent of employers expected their
staffing levels to remain unchanged and two percent are
uncertain about their hiring plans.
The results, the weakest since the second quarter of 2010,
follow Friday's government data which showed the Canadian
economy unexpectedly shed 7,000 jobs in February, sharply off
the 15,000 new jobs analysts had forecast.
The average monthly job gain over the past six months, which
is seen as a more reliable gauge of the trend, measured 4,200 in
the six months to February compared to the 15,300 in the six
months to January.
Construction employers were expecting the most robust hiring
climate, even though hiring intentions were softer than the
previous quarter and a year ago, according to Manpower.
Housing data last week and this week showed building permits
for January and housing starts for February both exceeded
Manufacturing appeared to be among the weakest of the 10
Manufacturers of non-durable goods were expecting few job
opportunities, with a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook
of zero. Durable goods producers saw one of the biggest declines
in hiring expectations, with an adjusted outlook of 9 percent,
down seven percentage points from the previous quarter, but up
one percent from a year ago.
Regionally, Western Canada remained the most optimistic
about hiring in the second quarter, while Quebec employers still
expected the most limited opportunities for job hunters.
A mismatch in skills and jobs remains an ongoing challenge,
Luft said, with many vacancies in jobs requiring specific
qualifications and a pool of unemployed workers unable to fill