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Labour shortages on the rise in Canada

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 5 July 2022 1 min read

According to the latest Business Outlook Survey conducted by the Bank of Canada, the percentage of businesses reporting labour shortages* hit 42% in the second quarter of 2022.

The percentage of businesses reporting shortages hasn’t been this high since 2006 and was 16 points higher than the same quarter in 2019 before the pandemic came into play.

Of the firms experiencing labour shortages during the second quarter of 2022, 68% said the problem was more intense than it was the year before while 5% said it was less intense. The intensity level has been at or near a record-high for four quarters in a row.

According to the Bank, “firms continue to link labour shortages to various factors, including: aging populations; changes in workers’ job preferences; and strong competition for workers.”

The shortages, combined with calls to keep up with inflation, will put upward pressure on wages.  The shortages will also lead to more investment in labour-saving technology and practices.

*Survey respondents were asked: “Does your firm face any shortages of labour that restrict your ability to meet demand?”

Answer to the previous trivia question: The month of July is named for the Roman general Julius Caesar.

Today’s trivia question: Who is considered the father of modern economics?

Over 4 in 10 businesses reported experiencing labour shortages in the second quarter of 2022

Over 4 in 10 businesses in the Bank of Canada survey reported experiencing labour shortages in the second quarter of 2022

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