The Research


Questions probed current staffing needs, skills required, difficulties hiring these skills, barriers to hiring, and the role of government income support programs in any hiring challenges. 


In the summer of 2021, an online survey was completed by 487 businesses within Alberta.

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

  • The response from Alberta businesses suggests that they anticipate staffing up but expect to experience difficulty in hiring over the course of the next year. Many already report lack of staff has been a problem leading to lost production and sales.
  • The twin causes of staffing shortages appear to be lack of applicants and lack of required skills. These required skills tend to be of a higher order than entry level or those requiring only a high school education.
  • The [Alberta Jobs Now] program is having some impact. Those who say they will make use of the program are more likely to say they are experiencing a hiring shortage that is having an impact on productivity or sales. However, a majority of those experiencing a hiring shortage say they do not intend to take up the program or are undecided. 
  • Among those experiencing a hiring shortage, half or close to it cite lack of applicants, lack of applicants with appropriate skills, or competition from other employers as the main barriers. In addition, a quarter cite government income support programs as a barrier, although only 7% cite this as the single most important barrier.

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