The 8-Day Workweek: the impact of labour shortages on the number of hours worked by Canada’s small business owners

In late 2021, CFIB published a comprehensive report that offers a springboard for understanding the nuances of the national labour shortage challenge and exploring potential solutions.1 At that time, 55% of Canadian business owners said they were directly affected by labour shortages, a figure that jumped to 59% in September 2022. Although businesses in certain provinces are more affected, such as Quebec (66%), Saskatchewan (62%) and Manitoba (62%), all provinces report that more than half of businesses are impacted. At least 70% of businesses in the construction, enterprise and administrative management, transportation and hospitality sectors are affected.2

In order to determine the impact of labour shortages on small businesses, CFIB has been surveying its members periodically since June 2021. The impact most often reported by small business owners then was that they were forced to work extra hours to compensate for the lack of employees (76%). In September 2022, this was still the most cited result, affecting 73% of owners.

This report looks at the impact of labour shortages on the number of hours worked by business owners using data from a recent survey conducted across Canada. The report breaks down the number of extra hours worked by province and by sector, with detailed data provided in Appendix A.

  1. Bomal, Laure-Anna, Labour shortages are back with a vengeance. CFIB, 2021.
  2. CFIB, Your Voice – September 2022 survey, September 8–26, 2022.
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