There are clear signs that the economy in Calgary is starting to pick up again, according to the head of a staffing and recruitment company.
Sharlene Massie, CEO of About Staffing, says lots of small- and medium-sized companies are having a hard time finding qualified staff.
"We're having a really busy year for requests for employees, and it's all over the map," she said.
"Diversified sectors, so, not so much in oil and gas, but lots of small to medium-sized businesses are using our services. And it's usually because they need some temporary help and it's a position that they have a definitive contract for."
Massie says there are lots of jobs available in the light industrial sector — from warehouse work to higher skilled positions — as well as sales and marketing, office administrative jobs and high-end accounting jobs.
"It is picking up. It's really picking up," she said.
"We're actually getting more employers than we are candidates, employees, and so we're actually out recruiting for employees now."
More than 150 companies set up booths on Thursday at the BMO Centre for the Small Business Calgary Expo, which was put on by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber's CEO, Sandip Lalli, says business owners seem to be making more disciplined hiring decisions, such as hiring people on a temporary or contract basis, as the economy continues to improve.
"They're being very measured about how they're going to grow in the coming years," she said.
"Because the costs of bringing on a full-time person have actually increased over the last four years than they have been able to balance in."