Hiring outlook for New Brunswick optimistic

Employers in New Brunswick's three major cities have varying levels of optimism about the hiring climate they expect to see in the first quarter of 2010.


"We’re seeing signs of optimism that the recession is coming to an end, but we’ll know more when we see the second-quarter results. It’s positive news,’ says Manpower’s Mindy Stoltz.

Saint John employers are the most bullish as they look ahead to the first part of the new year, while Fredericton businesses are modestly optimistic and employers in Greater Moncton expect a very quiet hiring climate in the next quarter, according to the results of a quarterly survey by Manpower Inc. of hiring intentions of Canadian employers.

"I'm seeing the growth in Saint John," said company spokeswoman Mindy Stoltz. "It's upbeat in the city, with 22 per cent of employers planning to hire more staff in the first quarter. Only six per cent anticipate having to make any cutbacks.

"We're seeing signs of optimism that the recession is coming to an end, but we'll know more when we see the second-quarter results. It's positive news. It's also very good that 69 per cent of employers plan to maintain staffing at current levels."

Manpower Inc. compiled its quarterly survey by polling more than 1,900 public-and private-sector Canadian employers from Oct. 15-28.

The survey also showed 23 per cent of companies surveyed in the provincial capital were planning on hiring more employees, while 13 expected to cut staff. The remaining 64 per cent intend to maintain current levels.

Moncton is a mixed market in the sense that 70 per cent expect to retain the current employees, but 13 per cent of employers anticipate cutbacks, while 17 per cent will be hiring.

Stoltz said there are signs that employers are more optimistic the economy is actually taking a turn for the better.

"I'm getting a sense that people aren't as nervous right now," she said. "They're feeling a little more stable. They're still very conservative in terms of hiring, but they're not as nervous as they had been.

"(During the recession) companies were bare-bones. Some people were doing the jobs of three and four people. Now they're branching out a little more and feeling better about the way the economy is going."

Nationally, the survey shows Canadian employers expect a hopeful hiring climate for the first quarter of 2010.

The survey shows that 15 per cent plan to increase their payrolls, while 13 per cent anticipate cutbacks and 70 per cent of employers expect to maintain their current staffing levels. Two per cent are unsure of their intentions.

"(The survey) indicates that the modest hiring climate reported in the previous quarter will improve in the first quarter of 2010," says Lori Rogers, vice-president of operations, staffing services for Manpower Canada.

"Regionally, employers in Atlantic and Western Canada anticipate the most encouraging hiring climates. The seasonally adjusted survey data indicates employers in Atlantic Canada have positive hiring intentions for the coming quarter. The upbeat forecast for this region is being strengthened by favourable hiring intentions in the construction, finance, insurance and real estate, public administration and transportation and public utilities industry sectors."



Published Wednesday December 9th, 2009 - Telegraph Journal