This week’s Voice of Business looks at a wide range of business issues, including the employment skills gap, rising inflation, climate change, and adding social value to purchasing evaluation criteria.
The gap between vacancies and unemployment
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is raising concerns over recent job numbers, which highlight a massive employment gap with 1 million job vacancies and 1.2 million unemployed
Canadians. Frustratingly, the two are difficult to connect due to a growing skills gap. It’s estimated that 33% to 55% of businesses are planning to hire in the next few months and expect challenges in filling the positions.
The Canadian Chamber is expecting labour issues to get worse through into early 2022.
According to the Workforce Development Board’s Eye on the Labour Market monthly report, the top 10 job
postings in Peterborough include:
1. Retail salespersons
2. Other customer & information services representatives
3. Home support workers, housekeepers & related occupations
4. Retail sales supervisors
5. Social and community service workers
6. Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers & related support occupations
7. Material handlers
9. Security guards & related security service occupations
10. Sales and account representatives - wholesale trade (non-technical) Inflation
Inflation is at an 18-year high at 4.4%. It is being driven by fuel prices, sky-high housing costs, rising food prices, supply chain challenges and wage growth.
Financial leaders are anticipating the inflation hike will be short term, which is likely to keep interest rates low well into the new year.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recently made a statement based on the Canadian Survey on
Business Conditions, which highlights costs remain the biggest obstacle for
businesses right now, with 43% saying its their biggest hurdle to recovery. While costs are going up with
inflation, 89% of private-sector businesses don’t expect their profitability to improve over the next three months and one-third expect it to decline.
Simply put, inflation is driving up both the cost of living and the cost of doing business at an alarming rate and at a critical time in our economic recovery.
Solar Panel Map
The City of Peterborough, in partnership with Fleming College, has launched an interactive solar panel map of all the buildings in Peterborough. The map covers both residential and commercial buildings in the city and provides information including an estimate of the usable roof area for solar panels, potential cost savings, and greenhouse gas emissions avoided by introducing solar panels.
The goal is help property owners who are considering installing solar panels and lowering electricity costs
during peak times.
Installing solar panels to generate electricity or solar thermal to heat water are excellent solutions to help lower your carbon footprint and actively tackle climate change. It’s also an opportunity to save money.
A list of local solar panel installation companies is available at peteboroughchamber.ca.
The City of Peterborough is moving ahead with its plan to include social
procurement in its purchasing for the next three years. The City is partnering with Buy Social Canada to implement the purchasing initiative.
Social procurement will leverage current spending to include social value as part of its evaluation criteria. This will hopefully lead to more value to the community.
Typically, government spending is done in relative isolation. A department needs to buy equipment, materials or services, finds the most cost-effective way to do so, and purchases it. Other
departments and ministries are addressing social,
community and environmental issues with their own budgets. By adding social value into that equation, we can maximize value to address social and environmental issues.
Ideally, social procurement also opens up new opportunities for local businesses to add value to bids on government contracts and enhance their competitiveness.