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Help-wanted index drops for first time in five months

Ottawa, ON -- The Conference Board’s Help-Wanted Index declined by 2.6 points in March 2012 — its first drop in five months. While employment posted only soft growth over the second half of 2011 and the first two months of 2012, the...


Ottawa, ON — The Conference Board’s Help-Wanted Index declined by 2.6 points in March 2012 — its first drop in five months. While employment posted only soft growth over the second half of 2011 and the first two months of 2012, the recent upward trend in the index suggested that a turnaround was eminent — and the March numbers bore that out, when the Canadian economy posted a stunning gain of 82,000 jobs.

Taking into account the decline in the index in March, the overall trend suggests that Canada should see a softer gain of 10,000 jobs in April.

All provincial indexes declined in March. Saskatchewan posted the largest decline, with the province’s index falling 26.9 points, bringing it back to where it was last October. Quebec’s index fell by 12.4 points, but the drop was not enough to offset the strong gain recorded the previous month.