LETHBRIDGE, AB – Big concerns about labour shortages from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
The CFIB’s Annie Dormuth says here in Alberta, 46% of small businesses in a variety of industries, say they’re unable to find enough staff.
She says even enticing people with more money isn’t working in many cases.
“Small businesses that say they have increased wages to attract workers, a lot of them say it hasn’t actually worked, simply because of the lack of applicants that are applying for positions right now. So, there’s definitely a lot of things going into the labour shortage of issue right now that’s really impacting small businesses,” says Dormuth.
Dormuth notes Alberta is in a better position than most other provinces, but finding workers is still a big concern for many, pointing at the hospitality and personal services sectors as the most impacted. Many folks impacted by the pandemic in those industries have moved on to other things, leaving employers in a crunch to find people.
Alberta’s 46% in the lowest in the country, the average Canada-wide is 55% of small businesses looking to hire.
How can this problem be fixed? Dormuth notes one thing that might help is for the federal government to streamline the temporary foreign worker program and immigration process to bring in more workers to Canada and faster. Another recommendation by the CFIB is to provide tax relief for workers over 65 who wish to remain employed by making their hours worked tax-free.
The CFIB’s report shows nearly two-thirds (63%) of businesses affected by labour shortages said they can’t find job applicants with the right skillset or experience, while 52% reported a lack of any candidates at all.