Inflation and Workforce Shortages Biggest Challenges to Economic Recovery According to Manitoba Business Outlook Survey

Jan 24, 2023 | Business News and Tips, Economic Development, Finance & Taxation, Front Page, Policy, Workforce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — January 24, 2023: Three out of four (74%) Manitoba business leaders say that increased costs and inflation are the biggest barriers to economic recovery.  

The Manitoba Business Outlook Survey (MBOS) commissioned by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce (MCC) and conducted by Leger between November 29 to December 16, 2022, revealed that while 70% of Manitoba business leaders indicate they are near or have exceeded pre-pandemic revenues they are still facing significant challenges. 

“It’s encouraging to see that most businesses have rebounded from the detrimental effects of the pandemic from a revenue standpoint,” said Manitoba Chambers of Commerce President and CEO Chuck Davidson. “Unfortunately, businesses are now being impacted by inflationary pressures and workforce shortages, both of which are impacting further recovery efforts.” 

Inflationary challenges have forced businesses to make some critical decisions, including 48% of respondents indicating they are reducing costs internally, and 45% telling us that they are passing on costs to consumers. 

In addition to inflationary challenges, when we asked Manitoba’s business community what they anticipate their greatest what challenge to be over the next 6-12 months, labour recruitment and retention challenges continue to be number one. “One out of every two business leaders feel that access to skilled labour in Manitoba has worsened over the past year,” added Davidson.  “The problem is even more critical for small and medium sized businesses where that number increases to 65%. 

Delivered in conjunction with survey partner Leger, and supported by CPHR Manitoba, the Rural Manitoba Economic Development Corporation (RMED), and Digital Manitoba Initiative, when drilling down on the barriers to hire qualified employees the MBOS revealed that 27% of respondents indicated wages don’t meet expectation, 23% highlighted an inability to attract qualified candidates, and 21% indicated a lack of alignment between employee skills and organization needs. 

Furthermore, business leaders expressed concern that the continued ongoing labour shortages are also having a considerable impact on their existing workforce and operations. Two out of every five (40%) business leaders indicated that their teams feel overworked, 36% have felt obligated to increase wages, and 30% indicated they are not able to expand their business or organization. 

View the entire Manitoba Business Outlook Survey results report.

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ABOUT THE MANITOBA BUSINESS OUTLOOK SURVEY: 379 Manitoba business decision-makers successfully completed the survey. Since much of the research was conducted from a list database, the sample is considered to be non-probability and therefore, margins of error are not applicable. For contextual purposes, a probability sample of a survey size of 379 cases with this sample frame theoretically carries a confidence interval of approximately +/- 4.7 percent, 19 times out of 20. 

 

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