Labour shortage hampering post-pandemic recovery for businesses in Canada, study findsKyle BakxBusiness |September 29|

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It’s almost October, but Romaniuk Heating and Air Conditioning staff will be installing air conditioners in Edmonton for several more weeks.

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The company has a massive order backlog as it struggled for months to find enough workers as business boomed during the pandemic.

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The situation has become so dire, it is pulling staff from Ontario to help in Alberta and British Columbia.

“We’ve tripled our workforce. We recruit constantly,” said Colin Goodyear, the company’s general manager in Alberta.

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“Last week, we probably hired about eight people locally.”

According to Statistics Canada latest job vacancy dataLabor shortages are widespread in many different sectors of the economy across the country – despite the national unemployment rate being above seven percent. The inability to find enough workers is hindering the post-pandemic economic recovery.

In the hospitality industry, for example, food service owners are trying to lure back workers who moved during the pandemic with profit-sharing, bonuses and health benefits, among other perks.

“We have lacked confidence in our industry in terms of opening and closing several times over the past 18 to 19 months,” said Ernie Tsu, owner of Trolley 5 Community Brewpub in Calgary and president of Alberta Hospitality. Organization.

“For us to try to bring manpower back into the industry, right now we need the No. 1 component from the government, so that our industry remains open,” he said.

At Lazy Loaf & Kettle in Calgary, for every 20 interviews that are arranged to fill a position, usually only one or two people will show up.

“At first it was really disappointing. So far, it’s expected,” said Matt Proctor, a manager at the cafe.

‘It’s not going to go away’

Fifty-five percent of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada are struggling to hire the workers they need, according to results from a study released Wednesday morning by Business Development, which is limiting growth and leaving businesses with new orders. Forcing to delay or refuse. Bank of Canada (BDC), a Crown corporation that assists entrepreneurs.

“It’s everywhere. It’s in every industry and every part of the country. It’s more intense in some parts of the country like Quebec and B.C.,” Pierre Cloreaux, BDC chief economist, said in an interview with businesshala News.

Key findings of the study include: 64 percent of entrepreneurs say their growth is limited by labor shortages; 61 percent report that they should increase their hours and/or the hours of their employees; And 44 percent have delayed or unable to deliver orders to customers.

The study is based on a survey of 1,251 Canadian entrepreneurs and 3,000 Canadians about their jobs.

Some business groups have criticized federal pandemic income benefits, such as Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), arguing that while they have helped the unemployed, they have made the labor market worse by discouraging job hunting.

The labor shortage is much more complicated, Clorox said, given the country’s growing population and the limited number of immigrants arriving in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, many businesses were struggling to find employees even before the pandemic was declared in March 2020.

CRB and other federal pandemic benefits are due to expire on October 23.

“It’s not going to go away. It’s going to stay with us,” Clorox said of the labor shortage.

The pandemic has rocked the labor market, with about 20 percent of Canadians who lost their jobs and moved to a different area, he said.

Not everyone is able to find work in their favorite industry or at the salary they are used to earning.

look | Post-pandemic economic recovery slows due to labor shortage:

Kent Cranmer of Calgary worked for a large construction firm for more than three years before he was laid off six months ago.

“I thought this would be my retirement job for the rest of my life. Now I really don’t know where I’m going,” he said.

In the interim, the 57-year-old continued to drop her resume and settled for temporary work.

“I’m struggling. I’m really worried about everything,” Cranmer said, including paying rent on his low income.

Higher salary and perks

Businesses are increasing salary and benefits packages to lure in new employees, but staffing challenges remain.

“Employers are really struggling. Most of those who are calling us are begging for help,” said Sherlyn Massey, owner of About Staffing, a Calgary-based staffing agency.

For some job seekers, the biggest challenge may be choosing between multiple job offers, she said.

“The labor front is really confusing for everyone. We have a really high unemployment rate, and so we must have many candidates who are looking for work and accepting jobs left, right and center , and there should be some jobs, but it’s not like that at all,” Massey said.

“It’s a bit crazy right now.”

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