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Canadian insurance industry records bleakest hiring outlook since 1994


March 10, 2009   by Canadian Underwriter


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The hiring outlook in the finance, insurance and real estate segment of Canada’s economy has declined to its least optimistic level in 15 years, according to survey data released by Manpower Canada.
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforces during the next quarter.
All employers participating in the 2009 Q2 study were asked: “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of June 2009 as compared to the current quarter?”
The global study surveyed nearly 72,000 public and private employers across 33 countries and territories, and various national reports were prepared. The margin for error in the Canadian survey is +/- 2%.
Looking just at results for Canada’s finance, insurance and real estate industry, the report says hiring prospects are uncertain for 2009 Q2, with employers reporting a net employment outlook of +1%.
“This comparatively weak outlook reflects quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year declines of 7 and 9 percentage points, respectively, and is the least optimistic in the sector since Quarter 2 1994,” the report notes.
Again, looking just at the finance, insurance real estate industry category, 6% of the survey respondents said they expected an increase in hiring over the next three months, 4% said they expected a decrease, resulting in a net employment outlook of +2%.
Eighty-seven per cent said they expected no change.
By way of comparison, public administration was the industry with the positive outlook on its 2009 Q2 hiring  (+18%), whereas the manufacturing-durables segment had the least optimistic outlook (-4%).