One-in-four employers in Ottawa plan to make new hires over the next three months, according to a Manpower Canada survey.



The 25 per cent of local businesses planning to hire compares to five per cent that are planning to reduce staff, according to results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. It also found that a majority (64 per cent) of the city’s employers don’t plan to change staffing levels, while the remainder said they are unsure of their staffing needs.



Devon Rutherford, branch manager for Manpower in Ottawa, said the capital traditionally has low unemployment and is benefiting from public administration and service sectors that are fuelling most job growth across the country.

Evidence of the demand for workers is all around, said Sallyann MacDonald, director of Ottawa JHS Youth Employment Resource Centre.

"There are a lot of jobs available, it really is a job seekers’ market. Everywhere you go there are signs for help wanted."

MacDonald said it’s difficult to predict how the summer will play out, but for now there is competition between employers to attract workers.

If there is a dark cloud in an otherwise sunny picture, it’s that this year’s second quarter employment outlook is down from 2007, when it showed an increase of 32 per cent.

Nationally, even though 21 per cent of employers plan to expand their work force, the net gain in jobs falls to 10 per cent when seasonal data and reductions are included — the weakest showing since 1997.

In Ottawa, even after seasonal variations were removed, the job gain is 20 per cent.