Worker Scarcity in Canada and What Businesses Can Do to Respond

Labour shortage: here to stay

September 2018

Almost 40% of Canadian entrepreneurs are already having difficulty finding the workers they need. And there’s no relief in sight for at least a decade.

As a result, some companies are unable to fill customer orders or even have to refuse them. Quality is suffering and competitiveness is declining.

BDC surveyed more than 1,200 entrepreneurs about how a worker shortage is impacting their business. We found affected firms are 65% more likely to be low-growth businesses.

In this study, you will learn about the forces causing shortages and the steps businesses are taking to find and retain workers.


  • the hardest hit regions and industries
  • indirect costs of labour shortages you may not have considered
  • four strategies you can use to find and keep the best people
  • inspiring case studies of entrepreneurs who are overcoming a worker shortage

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