On the surface, it may appear that job-searchers are struggling in their job hunt. But, as we approach the warm summer months, it looks like the job market is warming up too.

I was exceptionally pleased when Statistics Canada released the unemployment numbers on Friday. Its national labour force survey found that the unemployment rate fell to 7.6 per cent with the addition of 58,000 new jobs in April. What this means is that we’re back where we were in 2008 when the recession hit.

Among the hottest industries to show growth have been health care, consulting (sales and marketing), and financial services. Employment in the transportation and warehousing industries also shot up, and industries that were left unchanged include manufacturing and construction, the survey found.

To provide you with more information about job growth in Canada, and what to expect in the next few months and years, as you progress with your job search strategy, I spoke with Sonya Gulati, an economist with TD Bank.

“The jobs gained tended to be in part-time positions, the public sector and lower paying industries such as the service sector,” Gulati says.

Part-time positions tend to be defined loosely as when you work less than 30 hours a week (which, conversely, is the standard for full-time work).

Gulati says she believes the job market will gradually improve in the coming months.

In 2009, during the economic downturn, about one in eight workers had contract work, Statistics Canada’s Diane Galarneau wrote in a report. A lot of contract jobs were centered in the public sector, and industries such as health care, education and public administration.

There’s also an abundance of new start-up companies cropping up across Canada. The popularity of CBC shows such as Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank tell us that companies are successful.

The Canadian Franchise Association reported that, since April, there have been 78,000 franchises in Canada and the number is still growing across all market sectors. Increasingly more executives have turned to entrepreneurship as a result of the recession. So it seems to me that the job market in Canada is improving.

I’m also pleased we received a majority government in the May 2 election. For me, what this means is that the federal government can make furthering the economy and job creation a priority without the possibilities of another no-confidence vote and subsequent election.

Canadians haven’t had a stable majority government in seven years.

This also means that the Conservatives most likely will continue to sustain a stay-the-course policy path, with lowering corporate taxes. When reached for further information on Conservative policies regarding job growth, a spokesperson for the newly elected Conservative government referred me to the budget, which was tabled March 2011 and fell victim to the election call.

The budget highlighted that the government has a “low-tax plan for jobs and growth.”

“Since 2006, the Government has reduced taxes, tariffs and red tape to improve incentives for investment and innovation. It has fostered innovation by making substantial investments in research and development, and has taken action to encourage education and skills development,” the budget explained.

Over the course of the Harper Government’s reign, it took two years to regain all the jobs lost in the recession. This is a considerable improvement from the 1990 recession, which took about four years to reclaim lost jobs.

There’s another budget being tabled in the weeks to come with minor tweaks to the last one. And job growth will be given a priority. It is then that we will get a clearer sense of what the Harper Government plans to do to create jobs.

But, Gulati believes that export-oriented industries and the resource sector will be the star leading performers in 2011 and 2012. From this, we can infer the potential for resource-specific (which includes oil, gas, mining, logging, agriculture) job growth.

Comparatively, because of the government reining in deficits and interest tax hikes, construction and public sector jobs might be minimal.

However, the fact remains is that the economy is re-energizing. Between scoring casual work and working for franchises, Canadians are diversifying their options when it comes to working.

And the fact that we now have a united majority government means the job market will more than likely continue to improve. So, as we approach the summer, we suggest job-seekers remain optimistic. The tide is changing for the better.

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