October : Monthly review of hirings and layoffs

Employment news has been abundant this past month. Our report of the new hires and layoffs for the month of October 2013.


The video game industry has had the wind in its sails this fall. Only the service sector can match it in optimism.

1 – The video game publisher *Ubisoft * plans to create 500 jobs over the next seven years with its opening of a new studio. Based in Quebec since 1997, the French company currently employs 3,000 people in the province. It will benefit from a generous contribution of $9.9 million from the Marois government.

2 – Warner Brothers Games Montreal was not left behind with the recent announcement of the creation of a hundred jobs. It will expand its studio, with a $1.5 million grant from Quebec. The Montreal division of Warner Brothers has been in the city for 3 years now and already employs 300 people.

3 – A new Desjardins call center in Trois-Rivières will create 350 jobs. Having had bad press in recent months due to branch closures, Desjardins chooses Trois-Rivières to continue its already begun centralization of calls process. The opening is scheduled for the Summer of 2014.

4 – Natural resource transformation has also received good news. The company Argex Titane, which produces titanium dioxide, confirmed its presence in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. The strategic location of this city, the presence of other companies and a network of natural gas supply and electricity has convinced Argex Titane to invest $300 million in the creation of 150 jobs.



Not all businesses see fruition with technology. The darker side of employment shows layoffs by the thousands.

1 – Blackberry, one of the major technological hopes of Canada, is for sale after its recent commercial flops. The company had originally announced the elimination of 4,500 jobs at the end of September, but we learned they will be closing their offices in Halifax. There are therefore 300 newly unemployed added to the list of victims of the giant’s defeat.

2 – Merck, the pharmaceutical group, has announced the elimination of 8,500 jobs across its operations. This announcement is added to the 7,500 that have already been layed off, bringing to 20 per cent the downsizing of the workforce in the company. Merck, however, did not specify which countries would be affected, but we can assume that Kirkland, where its Canadian headquarters are set up, will not be spared. Approval and marketing difficulties explain this though financial environment.

3 – Sears’ financial recovery plan could create other victims in the coming weeks. The cost reduction strategy could affect their Toronto headquarters, while a total of 945 people have already been affected since the beginning of the year. It is important to remember that Sears’ sales have fell by $2 billion over the last decade.

4 – At Laurentian Bank, there are 91 people who have lost their jobs since the beginning of the month in three waves of cuts. The mobile mortgage network for sellers has notably been completely abolished and other sectors have been restructured.

5 – Loblaw announced the elimination of 275 managerial and administrative positions. The company seeks to become more competitive in the food market. We do not yet know which cities will be most affected by these cuts.

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