Last week’s Fall Economic and Fiscal Update included forecasts from leading economists, which indicated that after the post-COVID bounce back, growth will again slip below 2%. The causes of this have been well-documented for years and sub-par economic growth can no longer can be the accepted normal.
(OTTAWA) – January 7, 2022 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Director of Workforce Strategies and Inclusive Growth, Leah Nord, issued the following statement today on the state of Canada’s labour market.
“With omicron case counts surging and most of the country going through yet another round of devastating restrictions, the labour market will experience disruptive shifts that are not reflected in today’s release. We can expect that many of the job gains we’ve made over the past quarter will be in jeopardy, and underlying issues such as labour shortages and long-term unemployed numbers will likely also be exacerbated.
Challenges for small businesses are especially dire. Even before we were hit with this omicron wave and accompanying lockdowns, the most recent Canadian Survey on Business Conditions showed that back in Q4, 20% of small businesses could not take on more debt and 40% foresee challenges in repaying debt from government support programs. Unsurprisingly, hardest hit sectors like accommodation and food services represented a large number of those struggling. This fifth wave could be the final nail in the coffin for many.
Canadian businesses have fought tooth and nail for their employees, clawing their way back from the economic blows of continued pandemic waves. They’ve repeatedly struggled to do everything possible to create and retain jobs, and the lifeline they need now is continuing targeted support programs, alongside data-driven, evidence-based decision making. Without these two things, we risk becoming untethered and experiencing a labour force backslide that will delay recovery and further hinder our economic growth.
About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.
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