Canadian employers lowered their hiring intentions for next quarter, with a gloomier outlook for manufacturers countering more upbeat plans by transportation and utility firms, according to a survey by Manpower Inc. (MAN)
The share of companies planning to hire in the second quarter exceeded those forecasting cutbacks by 12 percentage points after adjusting for seasonal variations, down from a net reading of 13 points in the prior survey, according to the Milwaukee-based employment-services firm.
Canada’s jobless rate remained at a four-year low of 7 percent last month, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast no improvement for the rest of 2013. Economic growth slowed to a 0.6 percent annualized pace in the fourth quarter and Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said last week his policy interest rate will probably stay at 1 percent for “a period of time.”
The labor market “is continuing to stay steady,” even with slower growth, Byrne Luft, vice president of operations for Manpower Canada, said in a telephone interview from Toronto. “We have a lot of employers saying we’re going to maintain course.”
The Manpower report showed a seasonally adjusted net hiring outlook of 22 percent for transportation and public utilities, the highest in six years. Construction companies reported a net hiring outlook of 17 percent.
Education employers were the least optimistic group with a net hiring outlook of 4 percent.
The survey of more than 1,900 Canadian employers was taken Jan. 17 to Jan. 29 and has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.
To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at firstname.lastname@example.org