Canadian employers expect the hiring climate to hold steady in the second quarter, dipping slightly from the previous quarter, according to an employment survey by Manpower Inc.

The poll of 1,900 employers from various sectors found that 20 per cent plan to hire workers in the three-month period from April to June. That's slightly lower than the 21 per cent who said they expected to hire more in the same period a year earlier.

Five per cent said they anticipate cutbacks to hiring, while 75 per cent said they will keep existing staffing levels.

Overall, the poll found that the net employment outlook was 12 per cent, a small decline of one percentage point from the first quarter of 2013.

Byrne Luft, vice-president of operations for Manpower Canada, says the results forecast growth in hiring rates in the public utilities and transportation, driven largely by a weakening loonie compared with the American dollar.

Employers in these sectors reported the most optimistic net employment outlook of any industry, at 22 per cent, a one per cent increase from the first quarter and a six per cent gain from the second quarter of the previous year.