There was some good news for Canada’s underemployed younger workers released this week.  According to a new survey from BMO Bank of Montreal, just over half (51%) of Canadian businesses are planning to hire students or recent graduates this year.

One-third (30%) of employers surveyed said that they plan to hire students for paid summer positions. One-in-five (20%) indicated that they plan to hire a recent graduate for a permanent job. 18% said that they were planning to hire paid interns.

“We’ve seen more companies investing in employee training and development – in conjunction with creating long-term plans – which will help business owners ensure they have a supply of talented employees who are prepared to drive performance,” said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Student hiring plans regionally:

  • Job prospects for students and graduates are the brightest in Ontario with 56% of employers surveyed saying they are planning to hire.


  • The Atlantic Provinces come next at 53%.


  • Quebec employers also indicated a rosy forecast for students and grads with 52% of employers expressing an intention to hire.


  • Employers in Saskatchewan seem least likely with only 27% saying they intend to recruit new graduates or students.


Plans to hire students by sector:

  • Business/financial companies at 37%, retailers at 25% and construction firms at 22% are the most likely to hire a recent graduate as a paid intern this year.


  • The service and manufacturing sectors are the most likely at 35% to hire a paid summer student, followed by the agricultural sector at 34%.


  • Employers in the manufacturing industry are the most likely (25%) to hire a recent graduate as a permanent employee, followed by the services (24%), retail and business/financial (23%) industries.


Mr. Murphy added that as many students are currently looking for summer employment, it’s encouraging to see so many Canadian companies with a noticeable appetite to hire students or recent graduates. “These organizations recognize that this group of Canadians bring a wealth of talent and passion into the workforce.”

500 Canadian business owners from across the regions and industries were surveyed for this report between February 25th and March 15th of this year.

Source – BMO Poll: Job Prospects for Students and Grads

In a similar Workopolis poll, 31% of respondents said that their workplace was hiring students in entry-level positions. 22% said that their workplace offers paid or unpaid internships. 16% hire students for temporary or contract positions. 30% indicated that their workplace did not offer student placements.


Peter Harris

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