BMO: Canadian Employment Steady, But Cooling – Poll Shows A Split In Workers Expecting a Raise or Promotion

TORONTO, September 9, 2011 – New job numbers released today showed there was a dip of 5,500 jobs in August and the unemployment rate edged up slightly to 7.3 per cent. According to Statistics Canada, in the past 12 months, employment has grown 1.3 per cent, with an increase of 223,000 jobs.

Following the release of these numbers, BMO issued the results of a survey conducted by Leger Marketing that found many Canadians are divided on how they view where they’re going in their job. More than one in four (28 per cent) said they’re expecting a raise or promotion in the next year. On the other hand, 23 per cent feel there is no possibility of a raise or promotion.

The 2011 BMO Labour Day Survey also found that 51 per cent are comfortable with their job security.

“While month-to-month dips shouldn’t be weighed too heavily, the underlying trend in Canada’s job market is beginning to cool. Full-time jobs were a highlight, again posting a solid gain of 25,700,” said Douglas Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. “However, private sector and goods-producing jobs fell in the month. As well, after a steady drop in the past year, the unemployment rate nudged up a tick to 7.3 per cent, although still down from 8.1 per cent a year ago. Even with the headline jobs setback, total hours worked did rise 0.3 per cent in the month, and are headed for a solid Q3 reading.”

According to BMO Economics, the high Canadian dollar is forcing many Canadian companies to increase their competitiveness by improving productivity.

“When it comes to productivity, there is still room for improvement as Canada lags behind the U.S. However, the good news is that Canadian companies have not been faced with the same pressure for job cuts as their U.S. counterparts,” said Cathy Pin, Vice-President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. “Our research shows that while some feel the prospects in their current role are limited, there is an equal positive view as more Canadians feel they have a promotion or a raise to look forward to, and even more feel overall that they are secure in their job.”

Regional Survey Results – those who said they feel they are up for a raise or promotion:

Province/Region Percentage
Atlantic Canada 25%
Quebec 31%
Ontario 25%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan 35%
Alberta 30%
British Columbia 26%

Those who said they feel they’re in a dead-end job, and their company isn’t in a position to offer promotions, raises or bonuses:

Province/Region Percentage
Atlantic Canada 31%
Quebec 26%
Ontario 23%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan 17%
Alberta 24%
British Columbia 16%

The Leger Marketing survey was completed on-line from August 2nd to August 4th, 2011 with a sample of 1501 Canadians, 18 years of age or older. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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