BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

August 31, 2011 09:00 ET

BMO Labour Day Survey: Half of Canadians Feel Confident With Job Security

BMO Economics forecasts job growth to slow to an average 1 per cent in the year ahead, equal to approximately 15,000 jobs per month

- Nearly one third believe their employer will be growing and hiring more employees this year

- Survey shows job confidence by province, with Albertans most likely to agree they are comfortable with their job security (69 per cent)

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2011) - BMO Bank of Montreal Labour Day survey reveals that half of Canadians (51 per cent) are confident in their overall job security. Furthermore, while 28 per cent said that they think the company they work for will be growing and hiring more employees this year, one in five (21 per cent) have concerns when it comes to their job security.

"Our research shows that while Canadians are cautious about how the economic recovery may affect their current job situation, many are optimistic about business expansion and see their company hiring in the coming months," said Cathy Pin, Vice-President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

According to BMO Economics, job growth is expected to average 1 per cent in the year ahead, or about 15,000 jobs per month, enough to make a small dent in the unemployment rate, leaving it at around 7 per cent a year from now.

"The Canadian labour market has performed admirably, recovering all the jobs lost during the recession by January. The unemployment rate is currently 7.2 per cent compared to a recession-high of 8.7 per cent. So far this year, employment growth has averaged 2 per cent annualized or about 28,000 jobs per month," said Michael Gregory, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Additionally, the lofty loonie is forcing many Canadian companies to focus on improving productivity to lift their competitiveness."

Regionally, the survey, conducted by Leger Marketing, also found:

Of respondents in British Columbia,
- 46 per cent are comfortable with their overall job security.
- 23 per cent think the company they work for is growing and will be hiring more employees this year.
- 25 per cent say they are worried about overall job security.
Alberta
- 69 per cent are comfortable with their overall job security
- 34 per cent think the company they work for is growing and will be hiring more employees this year
- 16 per cent say they are worried about overall job security
Manitoba and Saskatchewan
- 55 per cent are comfortable with their overall job security
- 28 per cent think the company they work for is growing and will be hiring more employees this year
- 19 per cent say they are worried about overall job security
Ontario
- 47 per cent are comfortable with their overall job security
- 25 per cent think the company they work for is growing and will be hiring more employees this year
- 22 per cent say they are worried about overall job security
Quebec
- 56 per cent are comfortable with their overall job security
- 33 per cent think the company they work for is growing and will be hiring more employees this year
- 17 per cent say they are worried about overall job security
Atlantic Canada
- 43 per cent are comfortable with their overall job security
- 21 per cent think the company they work for is growing and will be hiring more employees this year
- 29 per cent say they are worried about overall job security

Regardless of whether or not job security is in question, a separate BMO survey revealed that more than 40 per cent of Canadians are not prepared or unsure that they are able to handle their financial obligations in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, one quarter (26 per cent) have less than three months' worth of emergency savings.

BMO Bank of Montreal offers the following tips to help Canadian households prepare financially for the unexpected:

Don't overspend – Spend less than you make. Develop a budget that establishes how household expenses will be paid and how spending will be managed. Take advantage of free online tools, such as BMO MoneyLogic™, to help stay on top of everyday household spending and saving.

Have a Financial Contingency Plan – Plan ahead and develop a fall-back plan in case you are unable to meet your financial obligations due to unexpected circumstances, such as loss of work, or damage to personal property, including your home or vehicle.

Invest to save – Set up a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or high interest savings account to set aside extra cash in case of an emergency. Also consider using Exchange Traded Funds to reduce management expense fees.

Become mortgage free faster – Cutting your amortization from 30 to 25 years and increasing monthly payments on mortgages can help you pay down your mortgage faster while saving you thousands of dollars in interest costs. For instance, BMO offers a low 5 year-fixed rate mortgage with a maximum 25-year amortization at 3.79 per cent.

The Leger Marketing survey was completed on-line from August 2nd to August 4th, 2011 with a sample of 1501 Canadians, 18 years of age or older. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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