Wage pressures remain very real, complicating the inflation outlook: chief economist
Slowing economic activity has cooled Canada’s labour market in recent months, but new survey data suggests there will be plenty of hiring by Canadian companies in 2024.
A November survey by human resources firm Robert Half found that 54 per cent of Canadian companies plan to add new permanent roles in the first half of next year.
Another 40 per cent of surveyed companies said they anticipate hiring for vacated positions, while 68 per cent expect to hire more contract workers, according to the survey results published this week.
Among those companies that plan to expand their hiring in 2024, 61 per cent said they’re doing so to grow the company, 50 per cent said their current employees lack requisite skills and 48 per cent said they intend to capitalize on talent laid off from other firms.
Robert Half’s survey also found that almost 80 per cent of firms that put projects on hold in 2023 plan to pick that work up again next year.
The survey data comes less than a week after Statistics Canada released its November labour force survey, which found the unemployment rate rose to 5.8 per cent last month.
Canada’s economy added a modest 25,000 jobs, slightly surpassing forecasters' expectations but trailing behind the pace of population growth.
Despite Canadian companies’ hiring aspirations next year, many have faced challenges with hiring in 2023.
Eighty-nine per cent of surveyed managers reported difficulty finding skilled professionals and 64 per cent said it takes longer to hire for open roles now than it did a year ago.
Other reported challenges were a lack of qualified applicants, hiring fast enough to land the best talent, and meeting candidates’ salary expectations.
Employers also reported being worried about keeping their most-skilled staff and making sure their team is productive as a whole, according to the survey.
When asked about their top concerns for the first half of 2024, 90 per cent of hiring managers cited fears around retaining their top talent, while 87 per cent said they worry about keeping their staff motivated and engaged.
With files from the Canadian Press
Robert Half developed the online survey which was conducted by an independent research firm from Nov. 1-20, 2023. It includes responses from more than 1,094 managers with hiring responsibilities in the finance and accounting, technology, marketing and creative, legal, administrative and customer support, and human resources industries at companies with 20 or more employees in Canada.