In November 2021, more than 1 in 2 Canadian small businesses said they were affected by labour shortages. This proportion has been on an upward trend since the start of the pandemic.
The pandemic is not the cause of this complex problem, but has certainly exacerbated the situation. Demographics are also largely to blame for the imbalance between employment supply and demand.
While a large majority of small businesses have already responded by raising wages, their experience shows it is no silver bullet. Rather, a set of solutions is needed to address the main problem, a lack of applicants. Use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Investing in automation present the best potential.
This report explains how conditions became so critical, what issues existed before the pandemic, the role the pandemic played and the most effective solutions to help small business now and in the future.