Alberta small business confidence at highest level in over a year

Hiring expectations rose to one of the highest levels ever recorded.

  • Wed Dec 4th, 2013 5:00am
  • News

Hiring expectations rose to one of the highest levels ever recorded.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released on Thursday, Nov. 28, the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results that show confidence levels among Alberta’s entrepreneurs increased by 1.7 points in November to 72.1, the highest level for the index in more than a year.

“With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s good to see business owners are feeling relatively positive about the future performance of their firms,” says Richard Truscott, Alberta Director for CFIB.

As a result of stronger small business optimism levels in several other provinces, however, Alberta’s entrepreneurs are again the third most confident in the country, behind Newfoundland (74.7) and British Columbia (72.3), but more than 6 points above the national index of 65.9.

The November results for the remaining provinces were: Saskatchewan (71.4), Manitoba (67.6), Ontario (65.8), Nova Scotia (60.8), New Brunswick (55.9), Quebec (55.5), and PEI (54.9).

In Alberta, entrepreneurs continue to hold generally positive perceptions about the health of their businesses. Fifty per cent per cent in November said it was “good”, up two points over October, while only 6 per cent described it as “bad”, same as a month earlier.

November’s numbers related to hiring intentions are particularly interesting. The percentage of business owners who said they will be hiring in the next few months has risen 13 points since September. “The upcoming holiday season is at least partly the reason. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a catch twenty two for many business owners. They are hoping to hire more people and keep up with the upcoming busy period, but are still having a devil of a time finding qualified employees,” states Truscott.

In November, 38 per cent of business owners surveyed said they were planning to expand their full-time workforce in the next three months, compared to 34 per cent in October and 25 per cent in September. Only five per cent of entrepreneurs were expecting a reduction in employment, down one point from October and four points from September.