Bakers Journal

45% of small biz employers stop hiring and 4% plan layoffs: report

July 29, 2022
By Bakers Journal

According to Alignable’s July Hiring Report, 45 per cent of small business owners in Canada and the U.S. say they’ve put any hiring on hold, largely because of high labour costs and skyrocketing inflation, and an average of four per cent say they’re starting to reduce their staffing to improve the financial health of their businesses.

In the case of restaurants, specifically, many are still trying to fill open positions, 38 per cent say they can’t currently afford to add workers, and four per cent feel compelled to reduce their headcount just to stay in business.

These numbers are based on a poll of 5,350 small business employers conducted from May 10 to July 19, 2022.

Only one-quarter of all small to medium-sized businesses responded that they’ve fully recovered to pre-COVID revenue levels, and 60 per cent say their labour costs have increased. In fact, 18 per cent say wages required by workers are now 25 per cent higher than they were before COVID.
Higher percentage of Canadians forced to halt hiring


Based on the Canadian small business owners taking Alignable’s poll, on average half are not in the financial position to hire more staffers right now. Beyond that, eight per cent of those employers have plans to reduce headcount.

Alberta-based small businesses top the chart with 56 per cent unable to hire due to labour costs and inflation, and six per cent of that group feels compelled to lay off staff.

In Ontario, the situation is also challenging with 52 per cent saying they can’t pay for new workers and five per cent saying they’ll need to reduce their workforce.

And in British Columbia, the issues are a bit more complicated. Though only 46 per cent say they are impeded by labour costs and can’t hire anyone new, 10 per cent of small businesses in that group plan to let staffers go.

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