Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 03/1/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
HIRING intentions among Manitoba small businesses are at their highest level since 2009, even though optimism among the province's business owners is lower than in most other provinces, according to a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
In its latest monthly Business Barometer report, released Thursday, the CFIB said more than a quarter (27 per cent) of Manitoba small businesses surveyed last month indicated they intend to hire more full-time workers in the second quarter this year.
"That level of hiring has not been seen since 2009," said Janine Carmichael, the federation's Manitoba director. It's five per cent higher than in January, despite the fact the small business optimism index in the province is the third-lowest in the country.
The federation said Manitoba's index remained unchanged in February at 63.4, well below the national average of 66.2 and nearly eight points below Alberta's country-leading 71.0 rate.
CFIB spokeswoman Marilyn Braun-Pollon said hiring intentions are likely rising because the optimism index has been gradually improving since last October, when it bottomed out at 57 points. It had steadily declined since the start of 2012.
The survey found that while hiring intentions are rising, 49 per cent of Manitoba small businesses cited a shortage of skilled labour as their top operating challenge. Braun-Pollon said that came as no surprise.
"It's been the main operating challenge for some time."
She said a Skills Summit the Premier's Economic Advisory Council hosted Thursday hopefully was able to generate ideas to address the problem.
"This is an issue that governments can't solve on their own," she said. "It takes all of the stakeholders talking about the issues and seeing what the solutions are."
The survey found tax and regulatory costs still rank as the top cost constraint for Manitoba small businesses. It was cited by 63 per cent of the respondents.
Braun-Pollon said that's also been a long-standing concern, and hopefully the next provincial budget will include some measures to reduce both the tax and regulatory burden.
-- Murray McNeill
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2013 B9
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Police to hold press conference on Stella Avenue standoff at 1 p.m.
Driver in impaired driving accident that killed a woman in 2013 to be sentenced
Manitoba tribute for a Canadian icon
High court warns against police stings
Winnipeg airport shows off refurbished second runway
Cyberattack breached personal data: watchdog
MTS sees slight decline in revenue and slight increase in profit in second quarter
Unfairly convicted man can sue police, Crown
Moncton shootings suspect fit to stand trial
Kilcona Park could get $25-million upgrade
Israel vows to destroy Hamas tunnels
Preview of Folklorama at News Café today
Fridays of long weekends the deadliest days to be on the road
Study traces dinosaur evolution into early birds
Fahmy imprisoned in Egypt weighs appeal
See-through mice reveal details of inner anatomy
W. Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths
World Cup predicting sloth rejects honours
Drivers don't care that 60 means 60
Kellogg's sales hurt as dieters drop Special K
Winnipegger to be inducted into soccer hall of fame
Improving defence a work in progress
Don't get upset: it's another warm, sunny day
New Jets look a lot like old Jets
Photo-radar refunds on way
Innovative joint collaboration
Must... watch... documentary... and eat... BRAINS
Uprooted teen discovers she has two moms in complex, compelling drama
Quebecor still looking at wireless expansion
Poles protest Russian ban on their food with humour
Industrial GDP rises for 5th straight month
Judge orders end to Memphis Kellogg lockout
Watching kites fly a joy for bird lovers
Broken Bells delivers groovy, melancholy fun