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BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

May 16, 2012 09:30 ET

BMO Report Reveals Canadian Business Hiring Intentions

- Large companies planning to grow staffing levels more than smaller businesses

- Strong hiring intentions in mining, oil and gas sectors, and manufacturing

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 16, 2012) - BMO Bank of Montreal released its new BMO Hiring Intentions Survey, which shows a split between Canadian businesses on their plans to add new employees in 2012.

According to the report, 55 per cent of business owners in BC and Manitoba intend to hire new employees this year. In addition, for those companies that do say they will be hiring in 2012, overall they plan to do so at a greater rate than last year.

According to the survey, 46 per cent of Canadian businesses plan to hire new employees this year, while slightly more (51 per cent) do not have plans to add additional staff this calendar year.

"While Canadian companies continue to remain cautiously optimistic in their outlook, we are seeing a willingness to make deliberate and targeted investments to grow their business, including for some the addition of new employees to their workforce," said Cathy Pin, Vice-President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "With a degree of uncertainty about the global economy still a consideration, many businesses are making these investment choices differently based on the sector they operate in, possibly their physical location, and on their own business plans. Sometimes these will include new hiring and sometimes it will center on other types of growth initiatives."

For Companies Planning to Hire

For those companies who indicated that they are looking to hire this year 43 per cent plan to hire the same, and 51 per cent hire more than they did last year. Only 6 per cent say they will hire but do so to a lesser degree.

  • 73 per cent of Alberta employers plan to hire more employees this year
  • Ontario at 51 per cent, and Quebec at 47 per cent

Size of Company a Key factor in Hiring

The BMO survey also found divergent results depending on the size of company, with 59 per cent of companies with fewer than 10 employees saying they have no plans to hire in 2012, and conversely larger companies (more than 10 employees) indicating that 70 per cent have plans to hire this year.

Differences by Sector

According to the BMO Hiring Intentions Survey, mining, oil and gas, construction and manufacturing have strong hiring plans, with 57 per cent of employers planning to hire in 2012. By contrast, only 36 per cent of employers in the real estate, retail and wholesale sectors have plans to add employees this year. Employers in the arts/culture, travel & tourism sectors are split with 49 per cent intending to hire and 51 per cent having no plans for 2012.

"The main drivers in April were the cyclical sectors of construction and manufacturing," said Doug Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets, commenting on today's April employment data from Statistics Canada. "Transportation, finance, resources and education were also all solid. Most provinces saw gains, led by another comeback month by Quebec and big gains across the three western-most provinces.

"Most impressive are the meaty job gains in the private sector, neatly offsetting the job losses in the public sector last month - hopefully that can continue through the rest of the year," stated Mr. Porter.

Canadian Business Plans to Hire in 2012

Province/Region
Plan to Hire in 2012 NATIONAL BC AB MB SK ON QC ATL
YES 46 % 55 % 44 % 55 % 33 % 44 % 47 % 40 %
NO 51 % 45 % 50 % 36 % 60 % 53 % 49 % 60 %

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing between March 21, 2012 and April 12, 2012, using a sample of 500 Canadian small business owners. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±4.38 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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