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Kitchener-Cambridge job market to cool in 2020: ManpowerGroup

A new survey shows that the net employment outlook for the first quarter of next year is plus 13 per cent.
A new survey shows that the net employment outlook for the first quarter of next year is plus 13 per cent. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Despite signs that show the job market in Waterloo Region may be slowing, it is still a job seekers’ market, according to ManpowerGroup.

A new survey from the staffing firm shows that the net employment outlook for the first quarter of next year is plus 13 per cent. While this might seem high, it is a 14-percentage point dip from the forecast for the current quarter.

“Survey data reveals that 20 per cent of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter, while 3 per cent anticipate cutbacks,” Heather Irvine of Manpower’s Kitchener office said in a statement. “The remaining 77 per cent of employers plan to maintain their current staffing levels in the upcoming quarter.”

READ MORE: Strong employment growth expected in Kitchener-Cambridge, survey says

She told Global News a wide variety of industries are expected to hire over the next quarter.

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“So manufacturing would be huge for the durable sector as well as manufacturing in non-durables,” Irvine said. “Public administration has also shown an increase, as well as education.”

She says larger firms appear more likely to hire than smaller ones.

“Large corporations (of over 250 employees) and medium corporations — which would be 50 to 249 employees — report the most positive hiring trends for the upcoming quarter,” she explained.

She says some firms are still struggling to find the right candidates to fill roles and says job seekers could sharpen skills to fill some of those roles.

READ MORE: Canadian economy shed 71K jobs in November — biggest loss since the financial crisis

“Employers are grappling with the widening skills gap and are hard-pressed to find people with bilingual talents and skilled trades,” Irvine explained. “So job seekers who are looking for employment are advised to seek training in those two areas to increase their attractiveness on the market.”

She also suggested that companies should look at training their own employees to help with the demand.

“Employers might consider to upskill and that would help bridge the gap for the skill gap that they are encountering,” Irvine said.

ManpowerGroup’s survey questioned more than 1,900 employers nationwide.

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Twelve per cent of employers across Canada plan to hire in the first quarter of 2020 while six per cent expect to make cuts.

Similar to the local results, the manufacturing, education and public administration sectors were expected to see the biggest gains.

Brantford is one of the hottest markets in the province, along with Kingston and Thunder Bay.

All three cities have an outlook over plus 15 per cent.