The Research


Questions probed current staffing needs, incidence of staff shortages and the impact of shortages challenges hiring, incentives offered to induce hiring, barriers to hiring.

In addition, Insight Community members who were anticipating a need to hire in the next six to twelve months were asked questions about their concerns regarding a possible recession and the impact of inflation on their business as well as follow up questions related to hiring outside of Alberta.


Between June 14th and July 3rd, 2023, an online survey was completed by businesses within Alberta. In all, 321 businesses completed the survey which was administered on the Alida platform by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce to members and other affiliated businesses. In addition, 205 members of ACC’s Insight Community answered a number of follow up questions appended to the end of the survey. These are found at the end of the report.

How we’ll use our findings

  • Broaden and deepen the evidence the ACC and local chambers can bring forward to articulate the perspectives of the province’s business community
  • Understand the reality faced by our business community
  • Make the research available to individual chambers

Key Findings

  • While the Alberta labour market at all levels continues to be very tight, the intensity of this needs has declined the last six months.
  • A majority (60%) – in line with December 2022 (61%) – of Alberta businesses continue to experience staffing shortages of a significant (24%) or moderate (36%) nature.
  • Two-thirds (66%) report this is having a significant (70%) or moderate (23%) impact on production and/or sales opportunities.
  • Businesses anticipate seeing an increase in the size of their workforce needs in the next six months and one year out.
  • Employers continue to report that hiring at all positions requiring a post secondary level education or any job above the entry level is at least somewhat difficult.
  • A majority (61%) of employers continue to believe a recession in the next twelve months is at least somewhat likely and four-in-ten believe the impact would be major.
  • Three broad factors continue to represent the major barriers to recruitment: a lack of applicants (43%), the lack of candidates with the right qualifications, such as technical (34%) and interpersonal skills (39%), and a combination of wage related issues, including not being able to afford the going wage rate (34%), budget constraints (15%) and competition from other employers (27%).
  • While anticipating a recession, employers are currently dealing with the consequences of inflation and report that this is having a significant impact on their cost structure, including wage pressure. Related to this, half of employers report that this is highly problematic since they can’t pass costs on the customers/clients or that they can’t afford to pay higher wages to retain and attract staff.
  • Interest rate increases are also a concern for many businesses, but this issue is dwarfed by the twin concerns of inflation and a recession.

Related Resources


Hiring Intentions Labour Shortage Survey (07/2023)

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