Employers confident about growth over next 3 years

Many 'poised to accelerate pace of digitization and hire workers with in-demand tech skills'

Employers confident about growth over next 3 years

Nearly nine in 10 (85 per cent) small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large corporations (89 per cent) are confident they will see growth in Canada’s economy within the next three years, according to a report from KPMG. 

And small- and medium-sized employers are far more confident they will see growth over the next three years when it comes to global economy (86 per cent versus 55 per cent among large corporations), their industry (91 per cent compared with 77 per cent among large corporations) and on the company level (92 per cent compared with 85 per cent among large corporations).

Employers are poised to accelerate the pace of digitization and hire workers with in-demand tech skills, says Mary Jo Fedy, national leader, KPMG Enterprise.

"Overall, the long-term outlook is more hopeful, even as economic uncertainties and risks remain."

Nearly a third (31 per cent) of SMBs forecast between 2.5 per cent and 4.99 per cent per annum earnings growth for the next three years, finds the survey of 505 Canadian small- and medium-sized business owners and decision-makers in August.

Over one quarter (26 per cent) anticipate five per cent to 9.99 per cent per annum earnings growth while 17 per cent see less than 2.5 per cent growth.

Globally, 60 per cent of business leaders are confident about the growth prospects --- compared to 42 per cent in early 2021, found a previous survey by KPMG.

Risks to growth

Talent risk is the biggest threat to growth, according to SMBs in the KPMG report. Supply chain risk followed, and 79 per cent SMBs intend to source more product inputs within Canada, compared to only 25 per cent of large corporations. 

Other risks to growth for small- and medium-sized enterprises include cybersecurity risk, operational risk, interest rate risk and labour risk.

More than half (55 per cent) of Canadian small and medium-sized employers are struggling to hire the workers they need, according to another report from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

In comparison, emerging/disruptive technology risk and regulatory risk are the top risks for large corporations. And though they are also concerned about cybersecurity risk and operational risk, they are more worried about environmental/climate risk and tax risk compared with SMBs. Talent risk and supply chain risk did not make large corporations’ top five risks to growth.

"The last year and a half clearly demonstrated that going digital is essential for success," says Fedy. "Companies that will lead the way forward will be able to adapt rapidly to emerging risks and capitalize on the digital opportunities realized during the pandemic through sustained tech investment and adoption."

And more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of employers say they are having a hard time hiring people with the skill sets they need to grow, according to a separate study.

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