For Immediate Release
September 23, 2022
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Inflation is the most significant challenge facing businesses in Metro Vancouver according to a survey of businesses in the region.
New data released by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Business Data Lab found 65 per cent of Metro Vancouver businesses expect inflation to be the biggest challenge in the coming months while the rising cost of inputs (44%) and recruiting skilled employees (40%) are also top issues.
Greater Vancouver continues to stand out for its tight labour market across all industries. Employers are facing a shortage of workers, difficulties recruiting skilled employees and employee retention. The accommodation and food services sector has the largest shortage at 61 per cent, while the health care and social assistance sectors are facing the most significant challenge retaining skilled employees at 57 per cent.
“The pandemic slowed immigration, increased the need for digital/STEM skills, and accelerated long-term demographic shifts in the workforce,” said Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. “We have a short-term crisis and a longer-term imperative to act in a big, bold way with all levels of government, industry, and post-secondary institutions together at the table to ensure we have a plan to fill the jobs of today and train for the skills of tomorrow.”
“We have seen firsthand that small and medium-sized businesses are disproportionately impacted by inflationary pressures and governments at all levels must find ways to reduce the regulatory and tax burdens that are hampering their ability to get ahead,” Anderson concluded.
Supply chain issues appear to be improving as the number of businesses concerned with supply chain challenges that are reporting the situation has worsened dropped from 82 per cent last quarter to 61 per cent in Q3. The percentage of businesses concerned with supply chain challenges which are reporting difficulty acquiring inputs from abroad (-6%) and maintaining inventory levels (-5%) are both trending downward, indicating further relief may be on the horizon. While the overall situation is improving, most businesses experiencing problems expect them to persist into 2023.
Key findings from the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions Report include:
- Rising inflation: The impact of inflation is expected to be felt most acutely among the accommodation and food services (87%) agriculture (85%), and construction (84%) industries.
- Rising input costs: Concern over rising input costs in Metro Vancouver has decreased since Q2 (-8%) but businesses in accommodation and food services (82%) and retail trade (66%) are still feeling the pinch
- Labour shortages: Difficulty recruiting (40%) and retaining (34%) talent continues to impact businesses across every sector, with a slight uptick in concern about both compared with the previous quarter.
About the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions and Report
The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC) was created in the spring of 2020 by Statistics Canada in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to provide timely, relevant data on business conditions in Canada, as well as business expectations and views on emerging issues. The data is used by governments, chambers of commerce, industry associations and researchers to monitor evolving business conditions and devise policies to support Canadian business. The 2022 Q3 CSBC was collected from July 4 to August 8, 2022. The survey was conducted by Statistics Canada via electronic questionnaire, using a stratified random sample of establishments with employees. The 2022 Q3 CSBC survey results for Metro Vancouver are based on responses from 748 employers.
The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions Report (CSBCR) presents in-depth quarterly analysis of the CSBC conducted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Business Data Lab. The Business Data Lab collaborates with the Canadian Chamber’s network of boards of trade and chambers of commerce to distribute and amplify CSBC insights to the local level.
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Western Canada's leading business association, engaging our members to inform public policy at all levels of government and empowering them to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through unique programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events platforms in the country, providing a stage for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.