51% of Small Business Halting Hiring

Alignable, the largest online referral network for small businesses with over 7 million members across North America has released their July hiring report showing that 51% of Canadian small businesses are halting their hiring, largely because they say they can’t afford to add staff and 8% say they’re planning layoffs.This represents a significant hiring shift and is largely a reaction to mounting labor costs, skyrocketing inflation, fears of a recession, and rising interest rates.

For most of 2022, over 60% of small business employers have struggled to find the right help to fill open positions. But now, according to Alignable’s latest poll of 5,350 small business owners, only 44% are struggling to find new hires to expand their operations. 51% say hiring is on hold. Here are additional highlights:

Halting Hiring: 66% of gym owners say they’re not hiring right now. The same goes for 63% in Real Estate, 58% in Transportation, 55% in the Automotive sector and 57% of Retailers.

Reducing Staff: 5% of those in Real Estate, 5% in the Automotive sector, & 3% in retail say they’re also pursuing layoffs, among other SMBs in several industries. 58% of minority-owned businesses say they’ve stopped hiring, too.

Hiring Shift Fueled By Recession Fears: 48% said they believe we’re already in a recession, and another 32% predict it’s coming later this year.

Recovery Slow Down: Only 26% of small businesses say they’ve fully recovered (an all-time low), earning the same monthly revenues that they generated prior to COVID. In December 2021, that figure was 17 percentage points higher at 43%.

Alberta-based small businesses top the chart with 56% unable to hire due to labor costs and inflation, and 6% of that group feel compelled to lay off staff. In Ontario, 52% of respondents say they can’t pay for new workers and 5% say they’ll need to reduce their workforce.

In British Columbia, 46% say they are impeded by labor costs and can’t hire anyone new and 10% of small businesses in that group plan to let staffers go.

Click here to read Alignable’s full report