Manitoba Small Biz Optimism and Hiring Plans Increase Again in June

Winnipeg, June 29, 2017 – Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest Business Barometer® index, which shows that small business optimism in Manitoba increased 0.7 points in June to an index of 67.1, compared to 66.4 in May. The Manitoba index now sits well above the national index of 60.9.

“It is encouraging to see small business optimism in Manitoba is more than nine points ahead of where it was at this time last year,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “It’s also good to see hiring plans increasing again this month, with 18 per cent of business owners looking to hire in the next three months; now ahead of the national average (16%).”

Canada’s small business optimism dropped by more than five points in June to the 60.9 mark, according to the CFIB’s Business Barometer®.

“June’s big shift is almost entirely localized to a 10-point drop in Ontario,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB Chief Economist. “Index levels often vary for purely statistical reasons, but the downdraft in Ontario is likely policy based. The sweeping labour standards legislation announced in late May appears to be adding considerable uncertainty over future operating conditions there.”

Ontario’s index now sits at 58.0, third lowest in the country after Saskatchewan (51.8) and Newfoundland and Labrador (48.2), both of which saw slight improvements in June. Businesses in British Columbia (69.5) are still the most optimistic in the country, with Prince Edward Island (67.5) and Manitoba (67.1) close behind. Quebec (65.8) saw a small gain, as did New Brunswick (63.6), while Nova Scotia (63.5) saw a slight dip. After six consecutive months of gains, Alberta (61.7) held even in June. Results and the full report are available at: www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/barometer.

Highlights of the Manitoba Business Barometer for June:

· 44% of small businesses in Manitoba say their overall state of business is good (40% nationally); 6% say it is bad (10% nationally).
· 18% of Manitoba small businesses plan to increase full-time employment in the next 3-4 months (16% nationally), and 7% plan to decrease employment (11% nationally).
· Insufficient domestic demand remains the main operating challenge (38%), followed by management skills/time constraints (31%), and shortage of skilled labour (26%).
· Major cost pressures for small business include: tax/regulatory costs (62%), wage costs (50%), and insurance costs (41%).