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Jan 27, 2023

Labour Key Issue Affecting Business Confidence

Small business confidence over the long term has remained stable, but low, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) ‘Business Barometer.’ The 12-month index gained 0.5 points, reaching 51.4 index points in January. Shortages of skilled labour, albeit cooling off, continue to be the top limitation for nearly half (46 per cent) of small businesses. Wage costs are above the historical average, causing cost constraint for 60 per cent of firms, while borrowing costs are causing difficulties for 37 per cent of businesses, more than half over the historical average for this indicator. Among sectors, retail has posted the lowest optimism level over the long term (41.2). This marks the seventh consecutive month of an index below 50. Given these sentiments, it is no surprise that 94 per cent of small businesses want the federal government to address rising prices as parliament returns to session next week, says CFIB. Other priorities small businesses want to see addressed include reducing the overall tax burden (92 per cent), ensuring labour policies are reasonable for employers (90 per cent), and helping employers deal with labour shortages (77 per cent).

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