Survey shows employers in the prairies are looking to hire

According to ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey data, the prairies expect a rapid hiring climate in the first quarter of 2023.

ManpowerGroup sends out this survey across all industries across Canada to get an estimate of what employers are expecting in the coming quarter regarding staffing. The survey asks employers whether they expect to be hiring more staff, cutting down on staff, or maintaining their current staff number.

“With seasonal variations removed from the data, the Prairie Region’s First Quarter Net Employment Outlook is plus 33 per cent, a 3 per cent decrease from the previous quarterly Outlook and a 1 per cent point decrease from the Outlook reported in the same time period last year,” said Mindy Stoltz of Manpower’s Winnipeg Office.

Richard Plumb, Market Vice President of Manpower, says this large percentage would be remarkable but the prairies have been seen this percentage since 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“The job market has remained strong and consistent since the start of COVID… If we saw hiring intentions of a quarter of about 20 per cent (in 2019) that was pretty strong,” says Plum.

He says this higher percentage of 33 per cent over the past few years has been steady but unpredictable because things have drastically changed in all working industries since the pandemic.

From his own experience, he shares that people seem to be relying more on their second jobs or side hustles to make ends meet because it gives them flexibility in their work and more control.

“I think one of the reasons we’re seeing these numbers is because pay rates are really not keeping in line with the cost of living. People are not relying so heavily on a job to afford their lives, they’re doing other jobs or multiple jobs, everyone has a side hustle which is their main hustle now. I think that’s the driver and I think you’re going that consistent which is going to translate into employers looking for people,” says Plum.

Since people had to look for new ways of income during the pandemic due to lockdown measures, many people have gotten used to the flexible work habits of creating their own hours or working from home and don’t want to return to traditional work norms of working a 9-5.

The future quarters are still predictable according to Plum due to so many economic factors like a possible recession and climbing interest rates.

He says employers will most likely see successful hires if their businesses are innovative enough to adapt to a more flexible work environment.

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