Smaller employers looking to hire but can’t find workers

By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/23/2002

Despite economic uncertainty, small- and medium-size employers are confident about the year ahead and want to increase staffing levels, according to a recent survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The study predicts a net national increase in staffing levels of about 3.6 per cent, this would amount to about 250,000 new jobs across the country and 81 per cent of those would be full-time positions, states the report, Business Outlook 2002. More than 35 per cent of organizations expect to expand workforces, and just 11 per cent expect a decrease.

The war for talent may have abated slightly for large companies, not so for the smaller ones. In fact, more organizations report a shortage of qualified labour this year than last year, said Doug Bruce, a senior economist with CFIB. In a survey last year, 47.8 per cent said they were having difficulty finding staff, that has risen to nearly 50 per cent, he said. Last year’s also reported that at least 250,000 jobs were going unfilled at the country’s smaller organizations.