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Mining sector leads solid hiring forecast

Production at Hudbay 777 mine in Flin Flon, Manitoba.

Brian Pieters

Mining is expected to lead the country's hiring this summer, with overall hiring intentions the strongest in the East and the West, a quarterly survey to be released Tuesday shows.

Canadian employers have solid hiring plans for the third quarter of this year - the fifth quarter in a row they have reported upbeat intentions, a Manpower survey of more than 1,900 employers found.

Its seasonally adjusted net hiring outlook rose slightly to 16 per cent from the previous quarter and is six-percentage-points higher than last year. Mining, which includes mining precious metals and coal as well as oil and gas extraction, leads the country in its hiring outlook, a reflection of robust global demand and higher commodity prices.

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"It's a hopeful hiring climate [for the July-to-September time frame]" said Lori Procher, Manpower Canada's general manager. "Looking at longer-term hiring trends, compared to last year at this time, outlooks are stable or improved."

Strength in Western Canada is such that her company is observing increased migration from Central and Eastern Canada, she said, resuming a pre-recession trend.

All told, a quarter - or 26 per cent - of Canadian employers plan to boost payrolls in the third quarter while four per cent plan layoffs. Two-thirds, or 68 per cent, expect to maintain current staffing levels and 2 per cent are unsure on hiring plans.

Mining has already tallied a hot hiring streak. The sector has shown the fastest year-over-year payroll growth of all sectors in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. Its figures show a jump in mining, quarrying and oil-and-gas extraction of 15.2 per cent, or 27,400 jobs, led by support activities in Alberta.

Transportation and public utilities, along with public administration and construction also showed strong hiring intentions, the survey shows, while plans for education are the slowest.

Hiring plans vary considerably among cities. Charlottetown has the country's brightest outlook, followed by Niagara Falls, Ont., and Surrey, B.C.

Windsor, Ont., has the bleakest forecast, followed by Burnaby-Coquitlam, B.C. and York region, Ontario.

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Provincially, Quebec is showing the most positive plans in three years while Ontario is the most optimistic in four years.

Globally, the poll found employers in India, Brazil, Taiwan and Turkey have the strongest third-quarter hiring plans. Those in Spain, Greece, Italy and Ireland report the weakest - and only negative - hiring forecasts.

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About the Author

Tavia Grant has worked at The Globe and Mail since early 2005, covering topics from employment and currency markets to trade, microfinance and Latin American economies. She previously worked for Bloomberg News in Toronto and Zurich, writing on mining, stocks, currencies and secret Swiss bank accounts. More

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