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BMO Hiring Report: Employment Growth Looking Brighter for Second Half of 2014

- Service sector job growth has led the way; manufacturing industry expected to pick up

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 08/11/14 -- A rebound in economic growth in the second quarter and expectations for solid growth bode well for employment prospects, according to BMO Economics. The outlook aligns with a BMO Bank of Montreal report released today showing the hiring intentions of Canadian business owners for 2014.

"Service-sector job growth has been much stronger than manufacturing sector job growth in the past year," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Looking ahead, we expect manufacturing and export-related industries to pick up on the back of stronger U.S. demand and the lagged impact of the weaker loonie. Exports climbed 1.1 per cent in June and the upward trend can support an increase in Canadian employment levels."

Mr. Kavcic noted that service-sector employment should remain sturdy, especially in areas such as professional & business services, health care and education, while retail and construction employment could lose some momentum.

"Many businesses in Canada are making investment choices based on a number of factors - including the sector in which they operate in and their own business plans to make the most of their dollars spent when hiring," said Steve Murphy, Head of Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "The importance of making targeted investments - in human capital and other business areas - in order to remain competitive and grow should remain top of mind."

According to BMO Economics, net hiring intentions for businesses in 2014 are:

--  + 18 percent for the manufacturing sector;
--  + 17 per cent for the service sector; and
--  + 7 per cent for the retail sector.

The BMO Hiring Report also revealed more than half (55 per cent) of large businesses (with 50 employees or more) plan to expand the size of their workforce while one-quarter (24 per cent) of small organizations (with fewer than 10 employees indicate they have plans to hire this calendar year.

Plans to Hire Regionally

--  Albertan business owners are the most likely to increase the size of
    their workforce, followed by business owners in Atlantic Canada (35 per
    cent and 32 per cent, respectively).
--  Business owners in the Prairies are most likely to keep the size of
    their workforce the same (70 per cent), followed by those in British
    Columbia (66 per cent).

                                 Overall  ATL   QC   ON Prairies   AB  B.C.
Increase size of workforce            26%  32%  19%  26%      22%  35%   26%
Keep size of workforce the same       66%  62%  72%  64%      70%  59%   66%
Net hiring                           +18% +26% +10% +16%     +14% +29%  +18%

Results cited above come from a Pollara telephone survey with 502 Canadian business owners, conducted between March 7 and March 24, 2014. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Results have been weighted by region and business size, according to the most recent Census figures, to reflect Canadian businesses.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services organization based in North America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had total assets of $582 billion and more than 45,500 employees at April 30, 2014.

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