The Canadian Staffing Index saw strong gains in April, rising to 111, marking a 32 percent increase compared with the same month last year.
The index, released by the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS), found that staffing has risen sharply above pre-recession levels. The data is based on research performed by Staffing Industry Analysts, specifically the reported billed hours for temporary staffing. The jump is further evidence the Canadian economy is growing as the global recession disappears further into the distance.
"The April index value represents the seventh consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year growth," said Timothy Landhuis, Research Analyst at Staffing Industry Analysts. "This clearly shows that the industry is solidly above pre-recession levels in terms of the volume of demand for temporary staffing, as the index value of 100 corresponds to the size of the industry in July of 2008."
The increase marked a 4 percent jump over the reading of 107 notched in March.
Bryan Toffey, ACSESS national president, stated that the measure is a "valuable tool both for benchmarking purposes within our own companies and as a pulse on the economy." Toffey added that because the index is not seasonally adjusted, the number could potentially fall during the summer, but he is "confident the upward trend will continue" as fall approaches.
The Canadian government recently announced it will tighten unemployed benefits, and though it has been met with some criticism, officials say it will help get people back to work across Canada, GMA News reports.
"Let me be crystal clear," Human Resources Minister Diane Finley stated. "The changes that we are proposing...are not about forcing people to move across Canada or to take work that doesn't match their skill set. Our goal is to help Canadians find local work that matches their skills."
Finley added that the measure will also increase hiring within the country, and lower the amount of global resourcing that is occurring. She stated that employers are hiring foreign workers while Canadians apply for unemployment benefits, an issue the government hopes to balance out to give Canadians the "first crack" at applying for work.
According to data from Statistics Canada, the country's employment grew by 58,000 in April marking the second straight month of employment gains after a previous four months of stagnancy. Last month, unemployment fell by 0.1 percentage points to 7.3 percent.