Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content


Report on Business

Economy Lab

Delving into the forces that shape our living standards
for Globe Unlimited subscribers

Entry archive:

Economy Lab has moved

Only Globe Unlimited members will now have access to a wide range of insightful commentary
and analysis on the economy and markets previously offered on this page.

Globe Unlimited subscribers will be able to read these columns,
written by some of Canada’s most deeply respected economists,
such as Christopher Ragan, Sheryl King, Andrew Jackson, and Clement Gignac,
as part of our ECONOMIC INSIGHT section.

All of our readers will still be able to browse the Economy Lab archives and read our
broader coverage of economic data and news by accessing their 10 free articles a month.

Learn more about Globe Unlimited and how to subscribe.

Workers construct a condo development in downtown Vancouver in this file photo. (Simon Hayter/SIMON HAYTER for The Globe and Mail)
Workers construct a condo development in downtown Vancouver in this file photo. (Simon Hayter/SIMON HAYTER for The Globe and Mail)

Where is the job market going? Forward, with some bumps Add to ...

Job seekers – and employers – trying to pinpoint trends in the labour market could be forgiven for feeling whiplash.

Hiring has been bumpy lately, with three months of job creation this year (including a near-record jump in May) and two months of losses. Smoothed-out averages show employers have been adding about 19,000 a month, which is consistent with modest economic growth.

A new outlook on hiring shows sentiment has weakened, with most sectors in Canada expecting to leave staffing levels unchanged through the summer.

Manpower’s quarterly employment outlook survey, to be released Tuesday, fell to its lowest level in three years amid dimmer prospects in manufacturing. A fifth, or 21 per cent, of employers plan to increase payrolls in the third quarter, while 6 per cent see cutbacks. Seven in ten, 71 per cent, expect to maintain current staffing levels while 2 per cent are unsure.

The outlook for the third quarter, at a seasonally adjusted 9 per cent, is the weakest since the second quarter of 2010. Levels are 3 percentage points lower than the same time last year.

“The trend is problematic,” said Byrne Luft, vice president of operations at Manpower, whose survey is based on responses from 1,900 Canadian employers. The softer outlook reflects a mining sector that is trimming investments due to lower commodity prices, and factories that are pressured to contain costs, he said.

The strongest job prospects are in transportation and public utilities.

Among regions, hiring plans are most buoyant in the Western Canada from July to September and most cautious in Quebec.

The outlook for the construction sector is also expected to be relatively strong, particularly in the West, supported by government infrastructure spending. Employment in the construction industry has risen 5.8 per cent in the past year amid still-strong building activity, the biggest percentage gain by sector. Still, the pace of hiring there is expected to slow as the real-estate market cools.

In the know

Most popular videos »


More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular