JANUARY 2020 STATISTICS CANADA LABOUR FORCE SURVEY REPORT MONTHLY SUMMARY
34,500 JOBS ADDED IN JANUARY
5.5% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE*
215,500 12-MONTH EMPLOYMENT GAINS**
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS*
*Source: Statistics Canada
**Source: Statistics Canada, Seasonally Adjusted, February 2019 – January 2020
REMOTE WORKER TRENDS
43% of workers said their company provides the option to work remotely.
54% of senior managers said they have expanded off-site work opportunities in the past 3 years.
64% of workers with the option to work remotely make use of the perk.
Of those who choose not to, 47% say it’s because they don’t have adequate technology.
Source: Robert Half survey of more than 600 senior managers and 500 workers in Canada.
© 2020 Robert Half.
Statistics Canada just released the January 2020 Labour Force Survey, reporting an increase in employment of 34,500 for the month, with the unemployment rate falling 0.1 per cent to 5.5 per cent.
Highlights in January
- Employment increased by 34,500 (+0.2 per cent) in January, all in full-time work.
- The additional employment in January contributed to gains totalling 268,000 (+1.4 per cent) since January 2019.
- Over the same period, total hours worked increased 0.5 per cent.
- Employment in Quebec increased by 19,000 in January, with notable gains in full-time work. At the same time, the unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 per cent. Compared with 12 months earlier, the number of people employed in the province grew by 60,000 (+1.4 per cent).
- In Manitoba, employment rose by 6,500, mostly in part-time work. This was the largest overall employment increase since April 2008. The unemployment rate in January was virtually unchanged at 5.1 per cent.
- For the second time in three months, employment declined in Alberta, down 19,000 in January. This decrease was concentrated in part-time work. The unemployment rate was 7.3 per cent.
- The rate declined in British Columbia (down 0.3 percentage points to 4.5 per cent) as there were fewer people searching for work. Severe weather conditions affected several regions of the country, including British Columbia and Alberta. During the survey's reference week for January 2020 (January 12 to 18), 390,000 employees in Canada lost work hours due to the weather, with the majority (61.1 per cent) in British Columbia.
What employers need to know
In this challenging market, many employers are considering hiring promising candidates who may not meet all the requirements of the position. In fact, a Robert Half survey found that 86 per cent of employers are open to hiring professionals who lack the required skills for a role.
Training new hires is often a better plan than waiting for a candidate who matches your exact hiring criteria. You’ll want to consider the following questions as you decide how to adjust your hiring requirements:
- What qualifications are absolutely essential for the job? This list should be fairly short. And don’t focus only on technical skills. Keep interpersonal abilities in mind, too, as they can impact your candidate’s ability to thrive in your workplace culture.
- What skills can a candidate learn on the job or with training? Also, importantly: How quickly can that person be trained? If the new hire could ramp up in a matter of weeks by shadowing current staff or engaging in some e-learning, that’s a big plus.
- What skills and abilities are nice-to-haves? This list might include an in-demand certification or experience with a software program that isn’t vital to the job but could add value to your organization overall. These “bonuses” could also help you decide between two similarly qualified candidates.
What job seekers need to know
At many companies, the door is open to candidates who can make the case that they’ll be a solid hire, even if they don’t have all the desired skills and experience for the job. Low unemployment and rising business demands have prompted many employers to be more flexible with their hiring criteria. In a survey by our company, more than half (58 per cent) of workers said they’d been offered a position even though they didn’t meet all the job requirements.
The requirements that employers are likely to relax won’t be core to performing the job and can be learned relatively quickly with some additional training and onboarding time. So, before going into the interview, you’ll want to review the job description again and think about what skills or knowledge gaps you might need to discuss with a hiring manager.
Also, be ready to emphasize your strengths when the hiring manager asks you a question like, “Tell me about yourself.” A well-prepared elevator pitch will allow you to explain what you can bring to the job, why you want the position, and how, in the past, you’ve taken on new challenges and added value. You might also want to highlight abilities you have that may not be required for the role but which the employer might value — for example, project management or coding skills.
Nearly half (44 per cent) of hiring managers responding to a recent Robert Half survey said they’re willing to be flexible about professional development and training reimbursement when negotiating with job candidates. So, if you’re able to make a strong case for why you’d be a great hire, there’s a good chance an employer will consider investing in making the most of your potential.