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Canadian Manufacturers Dealing with Labor Shortage

A new survey of Canadian manufacturers has found 82 percent of respondents are facing labor shortages and 75 percent feel their hiring troubles are even worse than last year.

The survey of 445 companies conducted by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) in October found a lack of workers and material shortages have caused the sector’s recovery from the onset of COVID-19 to grind to a near halt.

Dennis Darby, CME’s president, said the report released Tuesday is a reflection of an industry that was already struggling to find and retain skilled laborers and is now facing even greater challenges as the pandemic stymies immigration and causes people to rethink their careers.

“It’s probably the worst that we have seen it,” Darby said. “Small companies, especially, always have trouble because they often have a hard time competing on wages, but big companies are looking for skilled trades (workers), and they can’t get them.”

Darby attributes much of the labor shortage to a lack of immigrants during the pandemic because people typically take on manufacturing jobs when they are new to a country.

The retirement of baby boomers and people leaving manufacturing jobs for other roles involving work from home, where COVID risks are lower, are factors too, he said.

Click here to see the full report in Automotive News Canada.

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