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Labor shortage: Quebec is the hardest-hit province in Canada

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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With 64% of small and medium businesses struggling to find employees, Quebec is the province hardest hit by Canada’s labor shortage, with a national average of 55% according to a study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) unveiled today. Thursday.

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Quebec, Prince Edward Island (64%) and New Brunswick (60%) are the provinces most affected by understaffing, followed by British Columbia (59%) and Saskatchewan (58%). Ontario and Nova Scotia have the same rate in the country (55%), while Newfoundland and Labrador (54%), Manitoba (48%) and Alberta (46%) fare better.

At the beginning of 2020, there was already an acute shortage of labor in small and medium-sized enterprises. The epidemic has exacerbated and complicated this phenomenon. Sectors that have been forced to remain closed for a long time, such as accommodation and restaurants, have been affected by the mass exodus of workers who have rehabilitated or accepted other jobs. In addition, almost all sectors face demographic challenges and do not have enough workers to replace those who have left,” said Simone Goderault, vice president of national research at CFIB.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of SMEs affected by labor shortages say they find it difficult to find candidates with the necessary skills and experience, while in 52% of SMEs there is simply no candidate.

Small and medium businesses are looking for solutions

On average, SMEs facing a labor shortage expect wages to increase by 3.7% over the next 12 months, compared to 3.1% for all other SMEs.

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More than 82% of affected SMEs have already raised wages, but the measure is effective only 31% of cases, according to the CFIB. About 60% of employers who raised wages said they did not change anything and did not find skilled workers.

CFIB urges governments to address the labor shortage and help small business owners to fill the labor shortage.

In particular, it proposes to improve and simplify the process of hiring temporary foreign workers, and stimulate automation with modified programs or tax credits.

The CFIB also proposes an hourly tax credit for workers over 65 who wish to remain active, or to reduce payroll taxes for small and medium businesses.

The survey was conducted on 4,514 small and medium businesses from November 4 to 23, 2021.

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