Specialized Recruitment and Consulting in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Friday, November 26, 2010

Contract workers are in high demand in Canada & CMS can help.

A study released today by Statistics Canada shows that the demand for contract employees has risen by more than 50% in contrast to the previous year. The study's author goes on to clearly state “contract employment has been the main source of growth in temporary work,” and it represents a facet of growth overall in the Canada's rebound from the economical uncertainties of 2008/09.

Interestingly, 1 in 8 employees were employed on a temporary basis in 2009.

Employers are relying more & more on contract workers because of the flexibility they offer as demand for output waxes & wains. CMS are well versed in contract placements and we encourage you to review our Employers web page for more information on how we can fill your work-force demands.

Here is the study in full by Statistics Canada.

Study: Temporary employment in the downturn

1997 to 2009

In 2009, 1.8 million Canadians worked in some type of temporary job. Temporary work accounted for 12.5% of paid employment, a slight decrease from its peak of 13.2% in 2005.

After growing rapidly from 1997 to 2005, the temporary employment rate slowed in 2006. The number of temporary jobs declined a year before the downturn in total employment.

On average, these temporary jobs pay lower wages and provide fewer benefits than permanent positions. In addition, they are non-unionized and part time more often. Although temporary jobs are typically viewed as a uniform group, trends in temporary employment as well as their underlying issues vary widely depending on the type of job.

In 2009, contract positions accounted for just over one-half (52%) of temporary jobs, representing nearly 1 million workers. The other half was equally composed of seasonal and casual workers.

Since 1997, contract jobs have grown at a faster pace than other types of temporary employment. Contract jobs increased by more than 3% between 2005 and 2009, despite the overall employment downturn in 2008.

Professionals make up a large proportion of contract employees. On average, contract workers are more educated and slightly younger than permanent workers. Contract jobs are concentrated in health, education and public administration, industries that were relatively untouched by the recent economic slowdown.

From 2005 to 2009, seasonal employment fell by more than 3%. The number of seasonal jobs fell in traditionally seasonal industries like fishing and forestry, as well as in manufacturing and accommodation and food services.

In 2009, construction remained the top industry for seasonal employment, followed by information and cultural industries and the primary sector.

Casual jobs are those whose hours vary according to the demands of the employer. They are found mainly in retail and wholesale trade, education, health care, and the accommodation and food services industries.

Casual employment fell by more than 10% between 2005 and 2009, with losses affecting most sectors. Nearly one-half (47%) of casual workers were under 25 years of age, and one-quarter of them were students.

The hourly wage gap between temporary and permanent positions varied from 14% for contract jobs to nearly 34% for seasonal and casual positions. This gap remained constant both in periods of growth and slowdown.

Part of the gap was due to the relative youth of temporary workers, in general, and lower average education levels of seasonal and casual workers. After adjusting for such differences, the gap was much smaller. It ranged from 5% to 21%, depending on sex and the type of temporary job.

Characteristics such as unionization, work patterns and company size explained another portion of the gap. After these factors were taken into account, the gap for casual workers was nearly the same as the gap for all other temporary workers.

Temporary workers also work fewer hours, on average, which increases the weekly earnings gap with permanent employees.

Note: The article "Temporary employment in the downturn" is based on the Labour Force Survey. It examines temporary employment, its main components (seasonal, contract and casual jobs) and how they performed during the most recent employment slowdown. A brief profile of workers in temporary jobs is also provided, as well as characteristics of their jobs. Finally, the earnings gap between temporary and permanent positions is examined.

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