Calgary’s fourth-quarter employment outlook ‘subdued’

Calgary’s fourth quarter net employment outlook of minus 3% is a nine percentage point decrease from the previous quarterly outlook

Mario Toneguzzi: Calgary’s fourth-quarter employment outlook ‘subdued’A subdued hiring climate is anticipated for the Calgary region as we head into the fourth quarter of this year, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, which was released on Tuesday.

“Survey data reveals that eight per cent of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter (October to December), while 10 per cent anticipate cutbacks,” stated Randy Upright, CEO of Manpower’s Alberta region. “Another 80 per cent of employers plan to maintain their current staffing levels in the upcoming quarter. The remaining two per cent are unsure of their hiring intentions.

“With seasonal variations removed from the data, Calgary’s fourth quarter net employment outlook of -3 per cent is a nine percentage point decrease when compared to the previous quarterly outlook. It’s also a decrease of nine percentage points from the outlook reported during the same time last year, indicating a quiet hiring pace for the upcoming months.”

Just last week, Statistics Canada reported labour force data indicating Calgary’s employment market continues to struggle.

The federal agency reported that Calgary’s unemployment rate rose to 8.2 per cent in August from 7.9 per cent in July. On a month-over-month basis, Calgary lost 4,300 jobs and on an annual basis, Calgary employment was down by 14,500 positions.

Nationally, the Manpower survey said that with seasonal variations removed from the data, the net employment outlook of 14 per cent is a one percentage point increase compared to the previous quarter and is an increase of four percentage points compared to the outlook reported during the same time last year.

It said the survey of over 1,900 employers across Canada reveals that 16 per cent plan to increase their staffing levels in the fourth quarter of 2018, while six per cent anticipate cutbacks. Of the employers surveyed, 77 per cent expect their current staffing levels to remain unchanged, while the remaining one per cent are unsure of their hiring intentions.

“With the unemployment rate hovering near 40-year lows, competition for talent is heating up across the country,” said Darlene Minatel, country manager for ManpowerGroup Canada. “Skilled trades and bilingual candidates are especially in demand, causing upward pressure on wages and an increase in permanent full-time hiring as the need to improve retention becomes more urgent.”

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.


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