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ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey: Canadian Employer Hiring Intentions On Par with Pre-Pandemic Levels; Sustaining Economic Recovery is Good News for Job Seekers

  • Employers report a +8% National Outlook for 3Q 2021 – an 18-percentage point increase from the 3Q 2020 Outlook and unchanged from the 2Q 2021 Outlook.
  • Employers in 10 Canadian industry sectors, as well as all four regions of the country surveyed by ManpowerGroup, expect to add payrolls in the next quarter.
  • Employers in the Public Administration sector report the highest industry Outlook (+18%) followed by Manufacturing-Durables (+15%), Manufacturing-Non-Durables (+13%), Transportation & Public Utilities (+12%), Finance, and Insurance & Real Estate (+10%) and Mining (+10%). The Construction sector anticipates a limited Outlook of +3%, the weakest of all sector Outlooks in Canada.
  • The strongest regional Outlook continues to be reported by employers in Quebec (+19%), improving by five percentage points in comparison with the 2Q 2021 Outlook and 23-percentage points in comparison with the same period last year.
  • 26% of employers surveyed do not expect to go back to pre-pandemic levels of hiring
  • 79% of employers surveyed report that in the next six to 12 months, the majority of their workforce will work in the workplace all the time, while 16% expect a mix of remote and workplace-based working

TORONTOJune 8, 2021 /CNW/ – According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, Canadian employers continue to expect a moderate hiring pace over the next three months. Employers in the Public Administration sector report the strongest job prospects, and job creators in the Quebec region continue to forecast the strongest Outlook of the four regions in Canada surveyed by ManpowerGroup.

With seasonal variations removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook for Canada is +8%, unchanged from the previous quarterly Outlook (2Q 2021) and an 18-percentage point increase from the Outlook reported during the same time last year (3Q 2020). Employers in all four regions and all 10 industry sectors of the country expect to add to payrolls next quarter.

The survey of over 1,500 employers across Canada reveals that 17% plan to increase their staffing levels in the second quarter of 2021, while 4% anticipate cutbacks. Meanwhile, 75% of the employers surveyed expect their current staffing levels to remain unchanged, while the remaining 4% are unsure of their hiring intentions.

26% of employers surveyed do not expect to go back to pre-pandemic levels of hiring. 11% expect to hire at the same level or higher than before Covid-19 within the next three months. 8% within 6 months, 3% within 9 months, 5% by January 2022, 6% likely by the end of 2022, 3% later than 2022, and 38% don’t know.

70% of employers surveyed report that 76-100% of their workforce have roles which require them to be based in the workplace all or most of the time. When asked where they expect the majority of their workforce to work in the next 6 to twelve months, 79% of employers surveyed report in the workplace all of the time, although many employers are planning to introduce flexible work options and generally have a favourable view of remote work.

40% of say they will offer flexible start and finish times, 37% will offer flexible or condensed hours, and 16% will offer job sharing. While some employers report concerns about remote work, such as potential lost productivity, an impact on worker well-being, and obstacles to collaboration, 46% report having no concerns at all.

“Widespread vaccination and settling of the pandemic may well be contributing to an increase in employers planning to return to workplace-based working for the third quarter of 2021,” said Darlene Minatel, Country Manager of ManpowerGroup Canada. “With all ten industry sectors expecting to hire in the upcoming quarter, and hiring intentions steady across all four regions, there will continue to be opportunities for job seekers.”

Looking back to the third quarter of 2020 — the weakest quarter for employment Outlook since the survey began in 1978, the Employment Outlook has increased significantly in just one year. A national Outlook of +8% for Q3 2021 puts us exactly on par with pre-pandemic Outlooks.”

Table-Industry Sector Employer Outlook

Industry Sector

Q3 2021 Outlook

Q2 2021 Variation 

Q3 2020 Variation 

Public Administration


 3% Increase

 36% Increase



 2% Decrease

 24% Increase



 2% Increase

 14% Increase

Transportation & Public Utilities



 13% Increase

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate


 2% Decrease

 20% Increase



 6% Increase

 29% Increase



 1% Increase

 6% Increase



 1% Increase

 26% Increase

Wholesale & Retail Trade


 1% Decrease

 15% Increase



 1% Decrease

 28% Increase

Canada Hiring Plans by Industry Sectors, Regions and Metro Areas

  • Nationwide, employers in all 10 industry sectors expect to add staff in 3Q 2021. The strongest Outlook is reported in the Public Administration sector (+18%) followed by Manufacturing-Durables (+15%), Manufacturing-Non-Durables (+13%), Transportation & Public Utilities (+12%), Finance, Insurance & Real Estate (+10%), and Mining (+10%). When compared with the previous quarter, hiring plans weaken in three sectors, improve in six and remain unchanged in one. In a year-over-year comparison, employers in only one sector report a weaker hiring sentiment.
  • Quebec has the strongest regional Outlook in the country (+19%), a five percentage point increase in comparison with 2Q 2021 and a 23-percentage point increase in comparison to the same period last year. Atlantic Canada (+11) is experiencing an uptick in hiring prospects over the last quarter, while Ontario (+7%) and Western Canada (+6%) maintain a steady, moderate hiring pace.
  • Of the 47 markets serviced by ManpowerGroup in Canada, the strongest job gains are expected in Quebec City, QC (+33%), Kitchener/Cambridge, ON (+22%), Halifax, NS (+21%), London, ON (+20%), and Kingston, ON (+19%).

Complete results for the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey are available for download at The 4Q 2021 survey will be released September 14, 2021.

*The Net Employment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity.

SOURCE ManpowerGroup

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