Canadian employment numbers realized a healthy increase in March bringing the unemployment down to just above 7%. The bulk of this increase in employment was in full time jobs within the private sector, many of them being in the services sector. Even in Alberta, we saw continued job losses in the energy sector offset by new jobs in retail and wholesale trade positions. Despite the overall Alberta improvement, the largest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, continue to struggle with job losses.
The USA saw 215,000 jobs created in March 2016 holding the unemployment rate steady at around 5%. Adjusted to US concepts, the unemployment rate in Canada would be seen as 6.1% versus the US rate of 5%. Similar to what we saw in Canada in March, south of the border employment increases were realized primarily in retail trade, construction and healthcare with job losses occurring primarily in mining and manufacturing.
A number of recent surveys indicate an upbeat hiring forecast as well as optimism on the part of employees in seeking new positions. A recent CareerBuilder survey indicated that over 1/3 of companies polled planned to continue adding new jobs in the second quarter. Overall indications were that even companies not planning on hiring in the 2nd quarter were maintaining their headcount. In another survey, 25% of employees indicated that they would be looking for better job opportunities and planning to change jobs – jobs they are confident will be available to them. Industries set to match or exceed hiring averages are healthcare, financial services, leisure and hospitality and information technology.
A recent global salary forecast review indicated that wage increases in 2016 are also set to be the highest in 3 years in most countries. While socio-economic conditions will create variances from country to country, overall increases when combined with low inflation augers well for employees. Industries set to realize the most significant wage increases are leisure & hospitality, finance & real estate, business services, IT and construction.
On the executive level, March 2016 C-suite turnover was evenly split with half realizing increases over what we saw in March 2015 and half realizing decreases. CEO turnover, year over year, increased by +10%, CFO changes increased by +2%, whereas overall C-Suite changes decreased by -8% and Board changes declined by -23%.
Month over month changes March 2016 versus February 2016 were more positive with 3 key categories seeing solid increase and only Board changes realizing a decline. CEO changes realized a +20% increase, CFO changes saw a dramatic increase of + 43%, overall C-level changes increased +5% and Board changes declined -8%.
March 2016 C Suite turnover activities break down as follows::