Canadian Company Net Hiring Plans Diminish, Manpower Says

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.

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.