Canadian employers, particularly those in the manufacturing industry in Central Canada, are expecting a "modest hiring climate" heading into the second quarter of the year, reveals a new survey, with employers in the construction and transportation and public utilities sectors reporting the strongest job prospects.

Down two percentage points compared to the previous quarter, hiring intentions across Canada is expected to fall to nine per cent for the April-to-June period, a quarterly employment survey from Manpower shows.

"A modest hiring climate is projected for the second quarter of 2014, with new business growth at its weakest in five months," Byrne Luft, vice-president of operations for Manpower Canada, said in a statement.

The latest employment outlook comes on the heels of news that the Canadian job market has stalled. Last week, Statistics Canada reported that the labour market lost 7,000 jobs in February.

Luft notes, however, that there are some "bright spots" amidst the sluggish job growth, with employers in the construction and, transportation and public utilities sectors anticipating steady gains. A net employment outlook of 13 per cent is expected for both sectors.

But despite the favourable hiring outlook in these industries, the positive gains still represent a loss compared to the same time last year. The hiring forecast for the construction sector is down six percentage points compared to the same time last year; while the outlook for the transportation and public utilities sector represents a decrease of eight percentage points.

Overall, job growth for the upcoming quarter is anticipated to be slower in Central Canada, with "limited advances in full-time work" in Quebec and Ontario, Luft said.

In the manufacturing sector of non-durables, employers anticipate a zero per cent hiring outlook, indicating the likelihood of "only a limited number of opportunities available," the survey said.

Meanwhile, in the manufacturing sector of durables, employers expect only a "modest" gain of nine per cent, a seven percentage point drop from the hiring outlook reported last quarter.

Durable goods are those that do not quickly wear out, and include items such as furniture, wood products and computers, according to Statistics Canada. Non-durable goods, in comparison, are those that have a short lifespan. They include clothing, paper products, and products related to food manufacturing.