Manpower survey indicates ‘respectable’ hiring climate in Red Deer

Chamber of Commerce says things are getting better, just slowly

People looking for a sign that the local economy is improving, can take some solace in a recent ManpowerGroup survey pointing to a respectable hiring climate.

The survey, released Tuesday, said 92 per cent of Red Deer and area employers plan to either hire or maintain current staff levels in the near future.

“Survey data reveals that 20 per cent of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter (April to June), while eight per cent anticipate cutbacks,” said Randy Upright, Manpower’s Alberta Region CEO.

The survey indicated that, which season variations removed from the data, the net employment outlook is at 14 per cent. That is a three percentage point decrease from the previous quarter, but a 24 percentage increase from the same time last year.

“It indicates an upbeat hiring pace for the upcoming months,” Upright said in a release.

Reg Warkentin, Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce policy and advocacy manager, said with energy companies heading into spring breakup, the second quarter is always the slowest in that sector and many people are looking for work in that industry.

“It would have been nice to see a much more aggressive hiring outlook, but it’s not surprising,” said Warkentin. “Things are getting better, its just happening slowly.”

Warkentin said with the Conference Board of Canada predicting Alberta’s gross domestic product to increase by about three per cent over 2017 and if oil prices remain decent, local employment should improve throughout 2017.

Nationally, the survey anticipates modest gains for job seekers as many companies, especially manufacturers, take a cautious approach until they see what effect political changes in the U.S. will have on the Canadian economy.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

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