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Moncton Businesses Have Two Big Concerns: Survey

By Sam Macdonald Jan 23, 2023 | 9:28 PM

A new survey shows that Moncton is a labour-hungry city; more than half of participating businesses say they are having difficulty hiring staff going into 2023.

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton’s most recent annual survey saw many in Moncton’s business community cite finding skilled workers as the most pressing concern at the outset of 2023. More than half (51 percent) of respondents reported a shortage of skilled workers and 47 percent cited difficulties recruiting and retaining employees.

The survey found that 32 percent of chamber members chose “difficulty finding employees with the right labour skills” as their biggest challenge.

The survey was conducted in mid-December and the results of which were released on January 12. It built a picture of the city’s employment landscape, drawing on the responses of chamber members.

Fifteen percent of survey respondents cited “inflation and rising interest rates’ as their greatest concern.

“The survey results show the need for all levels of government to focus on labour attraction and retention and to address the growing social issues in our downtown,” said Chamber CEO John Wishart.

“As we hopefully turn the page from the pandemic, our business community faces new challenges related to inflation, rising interest rates, finding workers, and ensuring affordable housing for those workers.”

Along with hiring concerns, participating businesses have been concerned about social issues in the community.

Answering questions on priorities for the city, 54 percent of respondents said “homelessness and security” should be Moncton’s biggest municipal priority.

Twenty percent of respondents chose “housing” as the greatest priority, and downtown development and removing red tape for businesses were tied at seven percent.

Health care and education investments were chosen by 36 percent of respondents as the most important provincial priority.

Eighteen percent of respondents chose homelessness and security, while 13 percent of respondents indicated housing is the greatest provincial priority.

Federally, 24 percent of respondents said homelessness and security are the biggest priority, while 18 percent chose lower business taxes and fees and 15 percent chose support for small businesses.

The survey takes into account the responses of 114 chamber members and was conducted over two weeks.

Chamber information stresses that the survey is not a scientific one but rather “a snapshot of the opinion within the Greater Moncton business community.”

Sam Macdonald is a Moncton-based reporter for Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting partner.

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