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Jobs outlook still soft for Q3

According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, Canadian employers expect a continued slow hiring picture over the next three months. Employers in the Manufacturing Non-Durables sector report the strongest job prospects, and job creators in the Atlantic Canada region are forecasting the strongest Outlook of the four regions in Canada but still report a negative employer outlook of -1%.

With seasonal variations removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook is -10%.The number is derived by subtracting the percentage of employers who say they will be decreasing hiring from thise who say they will increase hiring. This is a 19 percentage point decrease when compared to the previous quarterly Outlook (2Q 2020) and a 21 percentage point decrease from the Outlook reported during the same time last year (3Q 2019). Employers in all four regions of the country and in eight industry sectors expect to decrease payrolls next quarter. 

The survey of over 1,000 employers across Canada reveals that 12% of employers plan to increase their staffing levels in the third quarter of 2020, while 17% anticipate cutbacks. Meanwhile, 60% of the employers surveyed expect their current staffing levels to remain unchanged, while the remaining 11% are unsure of their hiring intentions. The Covid-19 pandemic has directly impacted businesses with 71% of organizations surveyed saying normal business activity has been halted or suspended by the outbreak. Despite this, 59% of employers still expect to return to pre-COVID-19 hiring levels within the next 12 months.

“A dim hiring outlook is not unexpected, given the economic lockdowns in the wake of the Covid-19 health emergency,” said Darlene Minatel, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Canada. “Companies that are hiring generally fall into the category of being essential service or supportive of essential services during this time. The category of essential workers is expanding beyond those who got us through the crisis – grocery stores clerks and temperature checkers – to include those who will help lead us out of the crisis. Think of roles in the IT sector, including chip manufacturers and app developers, who are leading the shift to more flexible and remote work.”

Canada Hiring Plans by Industry Sectors, Regions and Metro Areas

•             Nationwide, employers in two industry sectors expect to add staff in Q3 2020. The strongest Outlook is reported in the Manufacturing Non-Durables sector (+8%) followed by the Services sector (+2%). Examples of nondurable goods include fast-moving consumer goods such as cosmetics and cleaning products, food, condiments, fuel, beer, cigarettes and tobacco, medication, office supplies, packaging and containers, paper and paper products, personal products, rubber, plastics, textiles, clothing, and footwear. The eight remaining industry sectors expect a decrease in employment in this quarter. When compared with the previous quarter, hiring plans weaken in nine sectors and improve in one. In a year-over-year comparison, employers in all 10 sectors report a weaker hiring sentiment.

•             Atlantic Canada has the strongest regional Outlook in the country (-1%), a nine percentage point decline in comparison with 2Q 2020 and it is a 17 percentage point decline compared to the same period last year. Hiring prospects in Quebec (-8%) and Ontario (-12%) expect a disappointing hiring pace this quarter while job seekers in Western Canada (-16%) should plan for a gloomy hiring climate.

•             Of the 47 markets serviced by Manpower in Canada, the strongest job gains are expected in Kitchener/Cambridge, ON (+20%), Burnaby-Coquitlam, BC (+10%), Charlottetown, PEI (+8%), Cape Breton, NS (+7%) and Saskatoon, SK (+1%).

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