Industry Research : Technology Positions Lead the List for British Colombia Hiring
British Columbian employers are among an increased number from across the country to add full-time, permanent workers in 2012, led by hiring in information technology, according to a survey conducted by online job site CareerBuilder.ca.
In all, 34 per cent of employers said they plan to add to full-time staff, up from 32 per cent in 2011 and 29 per cent in 2010. Ten per cent plan to cut staff, and another 48 per cent anticipate no change.
"Even as the global economy continues to struggle, Canada is expected to add jobs at a steady pace in 2012," said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America.
The hiring will be concentrated in fields such as information technology (37 per cent), engineering (27 per cent) and administrative positions (32 per cent) that improve efficiency, Rasmussen said.
The survey will come as good news to job seekers following a marked slowdown in Canada’s labour market in the latter part of 2011, which saw 54,000 jobs lost in October and nearly 19,000 in November. Over that period, the unemployment rate climbed to 7.4 per cent from 7.1 per cent.
In B.C., the unemployment rate rose to seven per cent in November from 6.6 per cent the previous month.
Darren Butterworth, a Vancouver-based independent recruiter working with SAP, said the survey results mirror his own expectations of the B.C. job market in 2012, particularly as it relates to a growth in IT jobs.
"We are not a bricks-and-mortar type city with insurance companies and banks. We have IT shops here, whether it is software development companies or telecommunications, that seems to be Vancouver’s niche," he said.
Provincewide, Butterworth said engineering is also likely to see strong hiring, with growth in industry sectors such as energy, mining, transportation and innovation.
Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the Business Council of B.C., agreed the province is showing "pockets of strength" in a few areas.
But he cautioned the overall job market is likely to be "fairly soft" as a result of muted economic growth, expected to be around two per cent after inflation over the coming year. He estimated an increase in total employment of 1.5 per cent.
"Having said that, many employers in B.C. are concerned about the loss of skilled workers, as the baby-boom retirement wave accelerates. This may cause some employers to add staff in advance of an actual upturn in business," Finlayson wrote in an email to The Sun.
He said hiring in mining, health care and transportation will remain positive, as will construction jobs tied to infrastructure development and major project activity.
Don Prior, a principal with Watson Advisors in Vancouver, said job seekers may want to research B.C.’s smaller and innovative companies, which will also be looking to hire in the new year.
"Great companies are getting formed in these challenging economic times, some of the great companies that we will be talking about 10, 15 or 20 years from now are here. We just don’t know about them," he said.
Telus, B.C. also expects to be expanding in 2012.
Shawn Hall, Telus spokesman, said the company will add several hundred full and part-time positions to its current B.C. workforce of about 8,200. Hall said the new hires will run the gamut of professional skills from customer-care roles in call centres to field technicians and office workers.
Last year, Telus hired about 1000 new people across the country. In B.C., more than 300 positions were created at call centres in Burnaby and Prince George.
Hall said the hiring is being driven mainly by customer demand for optic television and wireless services.
The CareerBuilder survey was conducted by Harris Interactive. A total of 292 hiring and human resource managers were interviewed in November through early December. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.74 per cent.
It is the third year in a row the survey has shown a positive hiring climate in Canada.
Posted by Veronica C. Silva, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, December 23, 2011