Canada’s Shift to Temporary Workers – What this Means for Employers and Job Seekers

The rumours are true. Temporary employment is growing at a much faster rate than permanent positions in Canada today.

According to Statistics Canada, the number of temporary employees across the country hit a record high of two million last year. This type of increase isn’t uncommon during a recession. However, temporary work has grown at over triple the rate of permanent employment, increasing by a whopping 14.3% since 2009.

Most of the temporary job growth has been among recent grads and professionals under 35. The most common industries offering temporary positions include education, culture and accommodation, and food services.

So, what does this mean for job-seeking professionals and employers?

Let’s consider some of the primary ways that a growing temporary job market will impact Canada’s workforce.

The Cons

Increased uncertainty – While temporary work allows for additional flexibility on the side of both the employer and the employee, it also leaves some professionals feeling highly uneasy about the future of their careers.

Seasonal underemployment – Many temporary positions are conditional on a company’s peak periods. This often coincides with a certain season – i.e. summer or during the holidays – and results in a large number of workers being let go for the remainder of the year. Not an ideal scenario for a sizable percentage of Canada’s workforce.

The Pros

Increased flexibility for both employees and employers – Temporary contract work affords employers a more flexible work force that they can add to or scale back based on their annual needs. It’s also ideal for skilled employees who don’t want to be locked into one employer.

The chance to experiment – As stated above, a temporary position allows employees to try out new roles without fully committing to one position. This can be great for developing a resume or adding new, valuable skills.

A gateway to full-time employment – The big upside to temporary employment is that it often leads to a full-time position. Many employers end up hiring their temp workers when they’ve excelled in a particular role.

For more information about temporary employment and the changing face of Canada’s workforce, contact Employment Professionals Canada. As experts in the staffing industry, we’d be happy to answer your questions.