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More small businesses plan to hire full-time workers: report

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Hiring intentions among Manitoba small businesses is at its highest level since 2009, even though business confidence remains in the tank, according to a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

In its latest monthly Business Barometer report released today, the CFIB said more than a quarter (27 per cent) of small businesses surveyed said they intend to hire full-time workers in the second quarter of this year.

"That level of hiring has not been seen since 2009," said Janine Carmichael, the federation’s Manitoba director.

And that’s despite the fact small business optimism remains at one of the lowest levels in the country, the federation added. It said Manitoba’s optimism index remained unchanged this month, at 63.4.

That’s the third lowest optimism rate among the provinces. It’s nearly three per points below the national average of 66.2, and almost eight points below Alberta’s country-leading 71.0.

Carmichael also noted that even though hiring intentions are high for this time of year, 49 per cent of Manitoba small businesses still list a shortage of skilled labour as the top operating challenge they face. Insufficient domest demand for their products was a distant second, at 29 per cent.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

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