Job prospects improving in Victoria region

The latest employment survey says Victoria will see a modest hiring spike for the upcoming quarter from April to June.

Good news for job hunters.

The latest employment survey says Victoria will see a modest hiring spike for the upcoming quarter from April to June.

Eighty-three per cent of employers also plan to maintain their current staffing levels.

“Survey data reveals that 13 per cent of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter while three per cent anticipate cutbacks,” said Jeff Polkinghorne of Manpower’s Vancouver office.

The industry’s with the most openings will be finance, insurance and real estate. The survey estimates that 19 per cent of employers in those fields will be looking to hire.

Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce vice-chair Al Hasham says it’s not just all about the new workers.

“Aside from getting new workers, we need to retain the ones we have.”

A big problem when trying to attract new workers to Victoria is housing.

“We have to make sure we can provide affordable housing and continue to grow the economy,” Hasham said.

For the rest of Canada, the boom has already hit.

“The provinces of Quebec, Alberta, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island saw a rise in employment in January, and the nation’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in over five years,” said Michelle Dunnill, Manpower area manager in Ontario.

That is said with caution though. Still problems exist, with some prevalent in the west.

“We cannot ignore the obvious concerns over the plunging oil prices and the Canadian dollar’s decrease in value, not to mention that youth unemployment is still nearly double the national average,” said Dunnill.