Like the natural world in the spring, the Quebec labour market comes to life!

After a fairly problematic first quarter, the Quebec labour market seems to be picking up steam. This is the main finding of the latest Flash-Emploi CRHA released by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés. This quarterly survey, conducted in collaboration with AppEco Analytics, analysis, strategy and communication consultants, indicates how HR professionals expect the Quebec job market to develop in the near future.

Growing optimism respecting hirings and hours worked
While the previous survey noted a decline in both hirings and hours worked indicators, the tide seems to have turned for the second quarter of 2013.

Some 34.7% of respondents expect hirings to increase in the next three months, versus 24.6% who anticipate the opposite. This pegs the net difference in hiring expectations at 10.1%, which represents a rise of more than 6 percentage points over the first quarter of 2013. Close to three respondents out of four reported that they expect no significant increase or decrease in their hours worked over the next three months, versus 17.7% who expect an increase (compared to the previous survey’s 6.6%). These figures suggest that the job market will be much more dynamic in the second quarter of 2013.

As they are often linked to increased hirings, recruitment efforts will likely be more intense in the next months (+39.5 % vs. +23.4 % in the first quarter of 2013).

“Although 2013 got off to a slow start, these forecasts allow us to be more confident about the second quarter of the year. A simultaneous increase in hirings and hours worked definitely reflects the market’s vitality. What’s more, several organizations announced hirings in recent weeks. For example, McDonald’s hired 1,200 workers in Quebec, while the aeronautics industry revealed that Quebec will welcome three European companies that will create 200 jobs. With summer just around the corner, there’s a strong likelihood that we’ll see other companies hire workers as well,” commented Florent Francoeur, CHRP, Ordre President and CEO.

Low inflation an advantage for workers
As in the previous survey, the anticipated gap between pay rises and inflation is clearly positive (+37.0%). Steadily climbing for almost a year now, this figure indicates that many employers plan to grant above-inflation pay increases in the coming year. “With the Quebec inflation rate at 1.4% at the time of the survey (inflation is now at 0.8%), it’s not unreasonable to think that salary increases will outstrip inflation,” added Francoeur.

Outlook for Montreal less optimistic For the second quarter running, projections for the Montreal region are the most moderate in Quebec, with negative expectations as to hirings and hours worked (respectively -3.0% and -1.1%). The outlook for SMEs is once again more positive than for large organizations, although the situation does seem to be stabilizing in large corporations. Lastly, in terms of sector, private sector organizations show the strongest gains.

Click here for the complete report. (In French only.)

For an interview with Florent Francoeur, please contact Justine Delisle.

The indices presented in this quarterly newsletter are based on responses to a survey conducted from April 1 to April 14, 2013, among a random sample of members of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA). In all, 216 respondents participated in this survey, representing a margin of error of 6.6%, 19 times out of 20. In the case of organizations with a number of Ordre members, only the response of the main HR manager was retained. The responses were weighted according to the size of the organization and were not seasonally adjusted. The total percentages may not always equal 100% due to rounding of values. The analysis of this survey was carried out by AppEco Analytics, analysis, strategy and communication consultants (