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Data shows that 23% of employers expect to hire for the next quarter

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

Nearly one-quarter of Barrie employers intend to hire new workers during the next three months, according to results of a survey released Tuesday.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey measured the hiring intentions of employers within several markets and regions across Canada and asked them how they anticipated their employment to change by the end of June.

The poll of 1,900 employers from various sectors show that in Barrie, 23% of employers in the area plan on hiring in the next quarter, according to Sara Blow, branch manager of the Barrie Manpower office, adding that 3% anticipate cutbacks.

"The survey shows a favorable overall hiring trend in Barrie," she said. "Once the seasonal adjustment has been made, Barrie indicates a projected 1% increase in hiring over the previous quarter and a 2% hiring increase year over year."  

The survey didn't specify if the work is full time or part time, which businesses will be hiring, or the reasons for the change.

"Another 73% of employers plan to maintain their current staffing levels while 1% of employers are unsure of their hiring intentions for the upcoming quarter," Blow said. "Overall, steady hiring activity is anticipated in Barrie and the results are definitely moving in the right direction.

“With seasonal variations removed from the data, Barrie’s second-quarter net employment outlook of 15% is relatively stable when compared to the previous quarterly outlook of 14%,” Blow said. “It is also a two percentage point increase from the outlook reported during the same time last year, indicating a respectable hiring pace for the upcoming months.”

A two percentage point increase may not sound like a lot, but it's better than a decrease, says City of Barrie economic development officer, Hany Kirolos, adding he wasn't too surprised by the positive job outlook.

"Up in employment numbers is always better because it has a ripple effect in sustaining the high quality of life we all enjoy as a community. Barrie truly is the economic engine for central Ontario. We serve a catchment boundary that’s home to over 500,000 consumers," he said.

"We contribute over $6 billion in GDP annually to the Canadian economy. Some of our more prominent employers such as Napoleon, JEBCO, Munro Concrete, Transcom — among many others — continue to grow and succeed not only domestically, but internationally as well," Kirolos added.

Kirolos said businesses in Barrie are not immune to US and other global challenges.

"Therefore we have to be ready to re-calibrate where and when necessary, synchronizing resources quickly to mitigate negative impact and capitalizing on new opportunities," he said. "Given our recent history in competing and attracting both large and small/medium enterprises like IBM and R&M Plastics (among others), we need to stay focused. With the continued leadership from the mayor, council and the business community — our best ambassadors for attracting new business — we should continue this growing momentum."

According to the Manpower survey, overall in Ontario employers report cautiously optimistic hiring intentions in the next three months with the strongest hiring intentions in the transportation and public utilities, construction, public administration, and wholesale and retail trade sections.

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