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____ Monday November 9, 2015 ____


Labour Trends

Accurately Predicting the Canadian Labour Force Survey

Toronto – The Canadian economy created 44,000 jobs in the month of October 2015, according to the Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey which was released earlier last Friday. On a year-to-date basis, Canada has created 144,000 jobs, mostly in full-time work. The unemployment rate for October was 7.0%, down .1% from the prior month of September.

The staffing and recruitment industry, represented in the artlce by The Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS) is generally thought to provide a leading indicator of jobs to come, which is then validated by the lagging Labour Force Survey produced at the end of each month by the government agency Statistics Canada.

Staffing industry activity in September accurately predicted the October results reported by Statistics Canada. The Canadian Staffing Index, which is produced monthly by ACSESS members was up sharply in September 2015 foreshadowing the creation of 44,000 jobs in October.

According to the report, “Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick and Manitoba saw gains in employment, while Alberta recorded a decline. There was little or no change in the other provinces.”

Neil Smith, President and CEO of CTSNA, a contingent workforce company in Ontario, says that Canada’s largest job market remains strong in some sectors. “We are seeing consistent increases in Ontario’s professional job market, especially in Information Technology while western Canada continues to struggle with adjustments in the Oil and Gas sector.” The plunge in oil prices has contributed to a decline in professional and technical contract jobs in Alberta.

According to Chris Roach of national recruitment firm David Aplin Group, “There is a measurable uptick in Ontario’s professional search sector with increased assignments to recruit sales and marketing professionals and human resources processionals.” He also points out that “Direct hire in Ontario for technology positions remains consistent but there is a noticeable decline in contract positions across the country in the design side of the EPC sector (Engineering, Procurement and Construction).”

According to Kael Campbell, President of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions in BC, “With the infrastructure spending platform of the new Canadian government, construction and infrastructure companies will likely hire more in 2016.” Other senior industry head-hunters agree that the Liberal government’s promise of Keynesian style good debt will provide a shift and boost to the EPC sector that has been heavily reliant upon large energy projects.

Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver represent more than 45% of Canada’s population. Staffing Industry Analysts; an independent company specializing in staffing industry statistics says that “These metro areas represent key locations of staffing demand and worker supply, and they also host the corporate headquarters (or “head offices”) of many companies who buy staffing services.” Therefore, it is normal to see most of the increase in hiring activities in these larger cities.

Bodil Geyer, COO of Swim Recruiting in Vancouver says “There is a persistent demand for certain skills regardless of minor fluctuations in the economy.” Geyer goes further to explain that “Search consultants in BC who can successfully source Senior Software Developers or Financial Planning and Analysis Accountants will always make a placement due to the skill shortages in these high demand fields.”

The Labour Force Survey is well known to report numbers that don’t always reflect what we know to be true in the actual job market. Staffing industry firms can often provide real insights into who is hiring, where they are hiring and for which positions. This report in October seems to fall more in line with our industry’s experience than some of the survey results reported early in the year.

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