Few employers planning to hire in early 2004
14% expect to cut jobs, survey shows
First quarter usually slowest
WORKPLACE ISSUES REPORTER
If your New Year’s resolution is to find another job, there’s still time to reconsider.
Only 15 per cent of employers plan to hire in the first quarter of 2004, while almost an equal number — 14 per cent — expect to cut jobs, according to a survey released today by staffing company Manpower Canada.
“It’s a stable net employment outlook … but it’s cautious,” said Lori Procher, vice-president and general manager of Manpower Canada. “Historically, the first quarter in Canada is typically the slowest hiring quarter of the year.”
Manpower asked more than 1,700 employers whether they plan to increase or decrease staffing in the quarter from January to March.
The survey did not ask how substantial those changes would be.
The outlook for the first quarter is similar to the same period last year, when 15 per cent of companies surveyed expected to hire and 16 per cent anticipated reducing their staff. But it’s considerably bleaker than survey results for the current quarter, which showed 23 per cent planned to add staff and 15 per cent expected to cut their workforces.
Teachers can sit back and enjoy their holidays. Education is expected to be the strongest sector in the New Year, with 16 per cent of employers surveyed planning increases and only 1 per cent expecting to cut jobs.
Construction companies and employers in wholesale and retail trade — both sectors that tend to be seasonal — reported the weakest hiring outlook for the first quarter. In those sectors, more employers plan to cut staff than anticipate hiring.
The survey also found 67 per cent of employers do not plan to change their staffing levels in the first quarter of 2004, while 4 per cent are unsure of their hiring intentions.
Statistics Canada reported recently the national unemployment rate stood at 7.5 per cent in November, down 0.1 of a percentage point from October.