Statistics Canada just released the July 2019 Labour Force Survey, reporting an increase in the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, up 0.2 per cent from June. Employment itself held steady for the third consecutive month.
Highlights in June
- Compared with July 2018, employment was up by 353,000 (+1.9 per cent), driven by gains in full-time work.
- Over the same period, hours worked increased by 0.7 per cent.
- Through July, there were fewer people working in wholesale and retail trade; transportation and warehousing; "other services"; and natural resources.
- Following an increase in June, employment in Alberta declined by 14,000 in July, all in full-time work. Employment decreased notably in accommodation and food services as well as in natural resources. The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points to 7.0 per cent.
- Employment in Quebec rose by 17,000 in July, with notable increases in manufacturing and construction. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 per cent as more people participated in the labour market.
- Employment in British Columbia held steady for the second consecutive month in July. The unemployment rate was also little changed at 4.4 per cent.
- In Ontario, employment was little changed for the second consecutive month in July, as gains in full-time work were offset by losses in part-time work. The unemployment rate increased 0.3 percentage points to 5.7 per cent as more people searched for work
What employers need to know
Many businesses are looking to expand their payrolls so they have enough skilled workers on hand to see fourth-quarter projects through to completion. If your firm is among them, be prepared to face intense competition for new hires, whether you’re aim is to recruit technology workers, creative professionals or other types of in-demand talent.
One strategy to keep work moving ahead as you search for full-time hires is to bring in skilled temporary professionals. Research from Robert Half shows that more than half (54 per cent) of Canadian employers are more open to hiring interim workers to bridge gaps while looking for full-time staff than they were two years ago.
Temporary employees can help ease workloads and prevent your core team members from burning out. You also can evaluate an interim professional’s skills and organizational fit while they are on the job. It can be an effective way to staff a full-time role without having to launch a new candidate search.
Continue the above approach throughout your company’s onboarding process, too. You want to help new hires succeed from day one and help ease their anxieties. The onboarding phase is the time when you need to reassure your new employees that they made the right choice in joining your firm.
What job seekers need to know
If you have in-demand skills, the hiring market continues to be in your favour. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to decide where to take your career. Working as an interim professional could help you to find your path.
In this tight hiring market, many leading companies are leaning on temporary workers to cover staffing gaps, help drive critical projects forward and more.
If you’re concerned that interim work arrangements don’t carry weight on your resume when you’re competing for a full-time role, don’t be: It’s a myth. In fact, 69 per cent of senior managers in Canada from across a variety of industries who were surveyed by Robert Half reported that they consider a long period of consistent temporary work comparable to a full-time job when evaluating candidates.
Another benefit of working as an interim professional is that you can forge a relationship with a staffing firm. Specialized recruiters can help you with your full-time employment search, when you’re ready. Robert Half, for example, can connect you with a range of opportunities in several fields, provided you have the skills that employers seek. To learn more about how to work with a staffing agency, either to find temporary work opportunities or full-time jobs, see this post.