Shortage of Skilled Labour a Big Issue for Business

Statistics Canada is reporting that a shortage of labor continues to be a significant issue for 35% of businesses in Canada, while skilled labor shortages are an obstacle for close to 28%. Those who responded to Knowledge Bureau’s July Poll agreed:  91.67% said yes, their clients are finding it more difficult to hire skilled people in 2022. 

The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, which asked representatives from businesses across Canada to take part in an online survey from April 1, to May 6, 2022, found that the shortage of labor over the next three months, July to September would be an obstacle for nearly two-thirds of businesses with more than 20 employees  while nearly 50% of businesses with 5 to 19 employees would see a labor shortage over the next three months. 

Smaller businesses fared better:  21% of those with 1 to 4 employees considered they would also feel the labor shortage pinch in the short term. The survey indicated that larger businesses with 20 or more employees were also more likely than small business to expect their vacant position to increase over the next three months.

Knowledge Bureau survey respondents had some interesting view on the matter:

Nelson Selinger says:  “Young, skilled accountants want to work at large firms or businesses, not for me - working out of my home, or from their own home.  I have found and hired a few older bookkeepers, with years of experience, but not much education.  This works for the moment, but not much opportunity for succession planning; not to mention, older people generally don’t want to train or upgrade their skills.”

Bill Johnson’s take:  “There are multiple reasons but I will add a few more which are specific to Ontario. First, the education system at all levels needs to put more emphasis on skills training, volunteer hours and co-op education. Secondly, the fed/prov needs to reconfigure the tax system ASAP so that employment income is by far the most favourable type of income to earn.(especially in the 40K-85K income range.)  There are numerous clawbacks of benefits and tax credits that begin and end at this income level which leaves some taxpayers worse off financially than those not working. In Ontario, the effective marginal tax rates at the range of 40k-85K are usually a few percentages higher and sometimes much higher than marginal tax rates at the same income level. For example, in 2020, I prepared a T1 return for a working senior with a combination of income types totalling around $75K. Prior to the deduction of RRSP’s, the effective tax rate on the last $100.00 of income was over 65%!  This was due to a combination of a number of clawbacks to tax credits, repayment of benefits, surtaxes as well as the most regressive tax of them all. (ie. the Ontario Health tax.)”

We thank all respondents for taking the time to respond to the Knowledge Bureau monthly polls.  For the month of August we ask your take on the following:

“Do you think that seniors over the age of 75 should continue to get the 10% increase in their Old Age Security benefits which began in July of 2022?


Knowledge Bureau features 30 certificate vocational courses to help employers with skilled labor shortages. Choose from 5 areas of specialization: