Steady hir­ing pre­dicted for St. Catharines

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - OPINION - STAN­DARD STAFF

As Ni­a­gara’s un­em­ploy­ment rate dropped slightly in Au­gust, a new sur­vey sug­gest the trend could con­tinue in the months to come for St. Catharines.

Sta­tis­tics Canada re­leased its lat­est Labour Force Sur­vey re­sults this week, show­ing Ni­a­gara un­em­ploy­ment rate at 6.5 per cent in Au­gust, down from 6.6 per cent a month ear­lier and 7.2 per cent in June.

The lo­cal rate, how­ever, re­mains higher than Hamil­ton’s 4.6 per cent un­em­ploy­ment rate, or the 6.4 per cent rate re­ported for Toronto.

And a Man­pow­erGroup Em­ploy­ment Out­look Sur­vey, pub­lished Tues­day, pre­dicts a steady hir­ing climate to con­tinue for the re­main­der of the year for St. Catharines, said Erica Me­larangeli from Man­power’s St. Catharines of­fice.

Al­though the sur­vey of lo­cal em­ploy­ers shows that 13 per cent an­tic­i­pate cut­backs while 10 per cent plan to hire, Me­larangeli said when sea­sonal vari­a­tions are re­moved from the data, St. Catharines’ fourth quar­ter should have “an up­beat hir­ing pace for the up­com­ing months.”

At the same time, she said 77 per cent of em­ploy­ers plan to main­tain their ex­ist­ing staff lev­els, “and that’s al­ways a good thing for St. Catharines.”

“We’re not go­ing to see any dras­tic, knee-jerk re­ac­tion in any of the com­pa­nies.”

Me­larangeli said lo­cally, Man­power Group is “start­ing to see an up-tick” in ser­vice in­dus­try jobs as well as man­u­fac­tur­ing.

While there’s a wide­spread skills short­age across the province, she said fac­tors such as the pend­ing min­i­mum wage in­crease could still have an im­pact on the data in the months to come.

The sur­vey pre­dic­tions weren’t as pos­i­tive in Ni­a­gara Falls in the months to come, where she de­scribed it as a “cloudy hir­ing” fore­cast.

“Only three per cent plan to hire, and 17 per cent an­tic­i­pate cut­backs,” she said.

While sea­sonal em­ploy­ers have been re­moved from the sta­tis­tics, Me­larangeli said many Ni­a­gara Falls em­ploy­ers are still im­pacted by the agri­cul­tural and tourist sea­son.

Nev­er­the­less, she pointed out that 80 per cent plant to re­tain cur­rent staffing lev­els.

The Labour Force Sur­vey also re­ported the na­tional un­em­ploy­ment rate at 6.2 per cent in Au­gust, while On­tario’s rate was at 5.7 per cent.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

The Sta­tis­tics Canada of­fi­ices are shown in Ot­tawa on July 21, 2010. Quebec’s an­glo­phone pop­u­la­tion is de­clin­ing, rather than boom­ing, Sta­tis­tics Canada said Thurs­day as the agency of­fi­cially cor­rected a cen­sus find­ing that stoked po­lit­i­cal fires in Quebec’s emo­tion­ally charged lan­guage de­bate.

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