Here at Workopolis, we’re fairly optimistic about the job market for 2015. Throughout 2014 we saw a steady monthly increase in online job postings, and the year-over-year growth was significant. These gains were also reflected in the national unemployment rate as it reached as low as 6.5% in October – the lowest is had been in six years.

We can expect to see these gains in employment continue. According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for Q1 of 2015, 11% of Canadian employers plan to hire early in the new year. (73% say that they plan to maintain staff levels, and just 7% are expecting cuts.)

The national survey of 1,900 Canadian employers from across industries indicates some regional variations in hiring activity. In a reversal of recent trends that seen much of the job growth happening in the West, employers in Atlantic Canada are expecting the most robust hiring for the coming quarter, with 14% expecting to increase staff.

Fewer employers in Ontario and Western Canada are anticipating growth, with 8% saying that they plan to hire in early 2015. Jobseekers in Quebec should expect a modest hiring climate, with just 6% of employers planning to staff up.

“We are seeing some cautious, though positive, signs in the labour market in Canada, with employers expecting a fair hiring pace for the coming quarter,” said Manpower’s Michelle Dunnill.

Some of this regional shift in hiring could be as a result of falling oil prices. We’re hearing from our clients in Alberta that all of their existing oil and gas projects are still producing, and projects that have already started are mostly moving forward, but that the majority of the new oil sands developments that were projected for 2015 have been temporarily put on hold.

This has caused a slowdown in hiring in the back half of 2014. In January through June of this year virtually all of the job creation in Canada was happening in the West. Since June, however, the country’s economy has gained 137,000 jobs, and less than 13,000 of them have been in Alberta.

Canadian cities expecting the most hiring in Q1 2015

    Halifax, NS
    Kitchener / Cambridge, ON
    Thunder Bay, ON
    Hamilton, ON
    Fredericton, NB

Canadian regions with the slowest hiring climates for Q1 2015

    Barrie, ON
    Monteregie, QC
    Fort Erie, ON
    Laval, QC
    Brantford, ON
    St. Catharines, ON

The Manpower report also broke down the hiring intentions of Canadian firms by sector. Employers in Finance, Insurance and Real Estate are expecting the most hiring, and Manufacturing – Non-Durables and Mining are projecting the least.

Sectors anticipating the most hiring

    Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector
    Manufacturing − Durables
    Public Administration
    Transportation & Public Utilities

Sectors with the lowest projected hiring

    Manufacturing − Non-Durables sector
    Mining sector

Read the in-depth Employment Outlook Report for Q1 of 2015 from Manpower.

Demand for technology workers

Earlier this month, our friends at Robert Half reported on the hiring intentions of Canadian employers in the IT / technology sector. The job market remains robust for techies as 84% of CIOs surveyed say that they plan to hire in the coming months – both to add staff, and fill currently vacant openings.

Among the hardest skills for Canadian employers to hire for right now, six of the top twelve are technology-related. And it isn’t getting any easier to find tech talent. Half (50%) of Canadian CIOs told Robert Half that it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals. This is a 23% increase over their previous previous survey.

“The current competitive hiring environment will continue into the first half of 2015 as the supply of highly-skilled technology professionals remains below demand,” said Deborah Bottineau, senior regional manager at Robert Half Technology. “Mobile, big data and security are the key areas driving hiring as IT departments expand in these areas. Companies with current openings in the areas of desktop support, wireless network management and Windows administration should consider acting with urgency to secure top talent as these skills are among those in greatest demand.”

The hiring forecasts for the last half of 2014 and the first six months of 2015 are based on interviews with more than 270 CIOs from major Canadian markets who were asked to provide a six-month hiring outlook.

View the complete infographic from Robert Half Technology.

Peter Harris
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