CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

Job search will take longer in 2004

A new global study says unemployed workers in Canada found new employment faster than in most other countries during 2003.

The study's authors warn it will take Canadians longer to find a new job this year as the pace of job creation slows.

The annual Career Transition Study by global human resource consulting firm DBM shows unemployed Canadians found new employment in an average time of 2.5 months last year.

Average is 5.2 months

Only Ireland, the Philippines, Vietnam (2.0 months) and Australia (2.2 months) posted shorter job search times. The average job search time worldwide was 5.2 months.

The study included 64,000 unemployed workers in 40 countries.

A follow-up survey of DBM career transition professionals in 17 Canadian cities in March this year indicates that average job search time lengthened in the first quarter as job creation slowed.

They estimate it could take Canadians an average of four months to find new employment this year.

The Canadian economy generated almost one million new jobs since 2001, but full-time job growth has slowed this year according to Statistics Canada's monthly Labor Force Survey. Canada's unemployment rate is 7.5 per cent.

Other highlights from the DBM's 2003 Career Transition Study include:
  • 51 per cent of unemployed Canadians surveyed found new full-time employment compared to a global average of 59 per cent; 14 per cent opted for self-employment compared to 17 per cent worldwide.
  • 10 per cent of Canadian respondents took temporary or part-time positions; nine per cent were re-hired by their previous employer. Others returned to school, retired or remained unemployed.
  • Eight per cent of Canadian respondents lost their jobs in 2003 as a result of a plant closing, up from one per cent in 2002. Seventy-three per cent of Canadian respondents lost their employment as a result of downsizing or organizational restructuring.
  • The number of females losing employment in Canada increased to 43 per cent from 38 per cent the year previous according to the study.

    DBM consultants across Canada attribute slower job creation this year to outsourcing and the increase in the value of Canadian currency compared to the U.S. dollar. They say professional and financial services and high technology industries will produce the most new jobs this year.

    "The relatively short job search time in Canada last year is logical given the strong pace of job growth in the last two years. It follows that job search time will increase this year as the pace of job growth slows," said John Withenshaw, senior vice-president, Operations, DBM Canada.

    "Canadians who lose their jobs this year would be well-advised to prepare for a longer job search time and to manage their severance and other funds appropriately.

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