2017 Trends and Predictions for the Year Ahead: The State of Retail Employment

Approximately one out of every eight workers in Canada is employed in retail, accounting for about 6% of Canada’s economy. The health of our sector impacts Canadian families across the country. Unfortunately the Canadian retail sector employment hit a multi-year low in 2016 as the total number of retail jobs decreased 2.6% over last year as companies invest in technology and trim costs. The loss is most acutely felt at the hourly level as the growth of e-commerce, automation and self-checkout is helping retailers reduce labour costs to face slow sales growth. As the traffic patterns and in-store habits of customers change, there are a lot of questions as to how best to set up staffing in stores.

At the managerial level, organizations are still hiring at a rapid clip and demand for skilled operators is still strong across the country. New roles with an emphasis on e-commerce means more opportunities for web design and developer jobs, marketing and creative roles, content managers, analysts, supply chain and logistics specialists. These roles are increasingly in high demand and the talent pool in Canada remains shallow.

The new year is traditionally a time in which people start fresh, and for many this involves considering a new career path. Organizations also make decisions regarding people to set themselves up for a successful 2017. It’s undeniable - to grow you need talent. As always, the key to generating results in retail is having the right people to drive sales in the field, to manage product through the supply chain, and to support those activities through HR, Loss Prevention, Merchandising, Marketing, Store Planning & Design, and other key areas. Fortunately, helping you find the qualified, experienced, and high performing retail professionals you need is what we do, every day.

In 2017 we are looking forward to connecting great companies to great leaders and great leaders to compelling new careers with organizations like yours!