TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian companies expect to hire new employees in the fourth quarter at the weakest quarterly pace since 2010, a survey released on Tuesday showed.
The ManpowerGroup Inc report, which measures the difference between employers that say they will hire employees and those that expect to cut jobs, said the net employment outlook for the fourth quarter, adjusted for seasonal variations, was 8 percent.
That is down 2 percentage points from the forecast for the third quarter, and down 3 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2013.
"The hiring climate is expected to be more modest in the fourth quarter, with the weakest net employment outlook we've seen since the second quarter of 2010," Byrne Luft, vice president of operations for Manpower Canada, said in a statement.
"Although the political environments in Quebec and Ontario have stabilized after their provincial elections, it has not yet translated to an uptick in the general mood."
Western Canadian employers were the most upbeat about hiring, and expectations were progressively more modest heading eastward across the country.
The survey follows data last week that showed the Canadian economy unexpectedly lost 11,000 jobs in August compared with July, with the number of private-sector employees falling sharply, the latest sign that the economy is struggling.
Manpower, one of the world's largest staffing companies, found in its survey of more than 1,900 employers across Canada that 12 percent planned to increase their staffing levels during the final quarter of the year, while 7 percent planned to make cuts, and the vast majority, 79 percent, were not planning any changes.
By sector, public administration, at 16 percent, had the most favorable net employment outlook. That is down by 1 percentage point from the third quarter, but a 10 percentage point jump from a year earlier.
Transportation and public utilities followed with 13 percent, and the finance insurance and real estate sector, which also had the most favorable quarter-over-quarter change, was 12 percent.
Non-durables manufacturing had the softest outlook at just 1 percent, while the construction, and wholesale and retail trade sectors both came in at 5 percent.
Reporting by Solarina Ho; Editing by Peter Galloway