A study of 90 cities around the world has found Toronto is the most attractive place for employers, a report to be released Monday says.
Montreal is fifth and Vancouver 13th in a "people risk" index that tracks challenges employers face in recruiting, employing and relocating employees. The global report by AON Consulting compares demographics, education, employment practices and government regulations.
Canadian cities fare well because of their inflow of new people, equal opportunity, multilingual work force, high literacy and relatively low levels of corruption, the report said. For Toronto, Canada's largest city and one of the world's most diverse, it comes as its big banks have won global praise for their prudent risk management through the recession. The city is also expected to be the country's fastest-growing economy this year, the Conference Board of Canada said last week.
The most attractive cities for employers "typically have a government that is transparent, non-confrontational, and deal with employment issues fairly," said Rick Payne, the firm's Singapore-based chief research officer. "Employers in these cities are less likely to be surprised by changes in government policies on employment, health care, and retirement. Therefore, they have fewer issues finding and retaining educated and experienced talent."
He lists other factors that put Canada ahead - access to training facilities, health and retirement benefits, along with relatively less discrimination and high productivity. Two key areas the cities could improve, though, are creating a better labour relations environment, and cutting health-care costs for employers.
Still, "because discussion often focuses on a few areas where there is room for improvement - particularly when compared to other world-class cities - it is easy to lose sight of the overall environment, which in this case bodes well for Canada," said Mr. Payne.
The Canadian economy emerged from the global recession with the fastest growth amongst G7 nations and many foreign companies, such as UBS and LinkedIn, are in the midst of expanding in the country.
Toronto edges out its Canadian rivals due to its larger size and broader availability of training. It's not the first time this year Canadian cities have gotten top grades: Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are among five of the world's most livable cities for 2010, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Monday's study shows the world's highest-risk cities, such as Tehran and Dhaka, are grappling with urbanization rates that are growing faster than they can manage.
The first-ever study was conducted over six months using quantitative data from 100 different statistic sources, along with qualitative assessments from the consultancy's local human resources staff. It's meant to help employers make decisions when they expand or move to different countries.