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5 industries projected to grow in 2010

Stephanie Loleit, writer

The Canadian economy slowly found its way out of recession in the last quarter of 2009. According to the Canadian Economic Outlook by TD Economics, Canada has good chances to emerge as one of the strongest economies among the G7 in 2010, with 2.7% real GDP growth due to a robust housing market, strong consumer spending, and more optimistic business sentiment.

Also job growth kicked in at the beginning of the year. According to the Labour Force Survey of January, Employment increased by 43,000 in January, all in part time, pushing the unemployment rate down to 8.3%. The largest employment increases in January occurred in business, building and other support services, and retail and wholesale trade.

Employers are becoming increasingly optimistic.

Looking ahead to 2010, recruitment in Canada is expected to grow as companies plan to add to their headcounts to remain competitive, according to’s annual job forecast.

“The Canadian job market had its ups and downs in 2009, but employers are optimistic about hiring in the new year as the economy recovers,” said Hunter Arnold, Managing Director of CareerBuilder Canada. “Companies say they will add more employees to their payrolls in 2010, a trend that will be widespread across most provinces and industries. Twenty-nine per cent of employers said they plan to increase full-time, permanent employees, up sharply from 18 per cent last year.”

Here are five industries that are currently growing in Canada and therefore hold good job prospects:

Retail and Wholesale
Retail sales volumes have been following an upward trend since the beginning of 2009, according to Statistics Canada. The largest contributor to the increase was Alberta where sales rose 1.8%, its strongest gain since November 2007. Employment in wholesale and retail trade was up 23,000 in January, the third consecutive monthly increase.

According to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report, CIOs in the retail industry anticipate some of the most active hiring in Canada in the first quarter of 2010. Technology executives in the wholesale sector also forecast employment growth above the national average.

According to the industry news from Canada’s Building Trades Union, Canada’s construction industry is emerging from the recession relatively unscathed, thanks to its pre-recession record levels of investment and the more recent government stimulus initiatives.

A preview of the Construction Sector Council’s (CSC) 2010-2018 scenario-based forecast says that though building and employment collapsed from October 2008 to July 2009, employment has been increasing since August and will likely continue because of new infrastructure projects, renovation and maintenance work, and strengthening housing starts.

Engineering construction in roads, bridges and other heavy construction and commercial and institutional building sectors where employment growth is strong through 2010, will create jobs and strong labour markets for concrete finishers, non-residential construction estimators and managers, crane operators, heavy equipment operators and mechanics, ironworkers, trades helpers and labourers, and welders.

Business process outsourcing
According to a recent Web cast from IDC Canada, the Centre for Outsourcing Research and Education (CORE) and Prima Management Consulting on the impacts the recession has had on outsourcing in Canada, outsourcing services are expected to grow in 2010 (Source: -Worldnews). The overall Canadian IT outsourcing market is expected to reach nearly $15 billion in 2010, which represents a growth of about 3.8 per cent from 2009, according to IDC forecasts.

The upcoming demand for new ICT employees, a result of retirements and industry growth, is driving the potential for global offshoring, according to Ron Babin, director and assistant professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of IT Management. He said that Canada will see a shortfall of 162,000 positions in the next five years.

Solar Industry
According to a study by the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) and the Electricity Sector Council about the labour market trends and issues facing the Canadian solar industry, solar companies anticipate a significant growth of 101% in the number of full-time equivalents to be employed by the end of 2011.

In terms of programs and policies suggested to mitigate the labour shortage, the inclusion of solar studies in the engineering and technical curricula of universities and colleges was highly recommended, as was a nationwide Canadian certification program of high standards for both photovoltaic and solar thermal installers. The introduction of an apprenticeship program for project management was another frequently-mentioned suggestion.

Business, building and other support services
The most jobs within this sector are in sales and service occupations (source: Janitors and cleaners are the biggest group within this occupational category, but it also includes a large number of people who work as security guards, travel counsellors, tour guides and ticket agents. Another large group of workers in this industry have jobs in business, finance and administration occupations. These include clerical workers, administrative officers and bookkeepers.

According to the Labour Force Survey from January 2010, there was an increase of 34,000 in business, building and other support services in January, offsetting the decline in December.

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