Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey: Flat Demand Keeping Canadian Businesses From Hiring

Many Believe Initiatives Geared Toward Small Business Introduced in the 2013 Federal Budget Have No Effect on Their Business

RICHMOND, BC--(Marketwired - May 29, 2013) - Sage North America today released findings of the Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey, which examined the hiring trends of Canadian small and midsized businesses in 2013 and their perception of how measures introduced in the recent federal budget will impact their business. The survey found that of businesses surveyed, 19 per cent have hired or will hire in 2013. Of those businesses hiring, 77 per cent reported that a stronger demand for their company's services or products is the driving force for their need to hire, followed by improved economic outlook (23 per cent) and the availability of a better pool of desirable candidates (11 per cent).

Of those respondents who reported that they have decreased or will be decreasing the size of their workforce (8 per cent) or will make no changes (55 per cent), the factors influencing their decision were: steady or weakened demand for their company's service or product (40 per cent), economic outlook uncertainty (22 per cent) and costs of doing business (22 per cent).

"While recent national reports state that jobs were added during April, our survey indicates that the hiring outlook for Canadian SMBs isn't as positive, as only 19 per cent have hired or are planning to hire in 2013 versus 31 per cent reporting that they increased their workforce in 2012. However with analysts forecasting that risks to Canada's economy are building, businesses may be preparing themselves for the worst and not hiring as substantially, especially those who are feeling the crunch and experiencing a weakening demand for their product or service," said Nancy Harris, senior vice president and general manager at Sage 50 Accounting -- Canadian Edition. "The Sage SMB Hiring Outlooks Survey clearly outlines that in Canada, demand for products and services is a major driving force behind the decision to hire, while other factors such as government measures geared toward job growth play a much smaller role."

The federal government announced several measures and initiatives in Budget 2013 that outlined their commitment to growth and job creation including the Employment Insurance Hiring Credit and Canada Job Grant. However, when asked which factors have influenced or will influence their decision to increase the size of their workforce, only 3 per cent each of those surveyed pointed to these two initiatives.

While some SMBs believe that the measures that were introduced to help stimulate economic and job growth will have a slight positive effect on their business, the majority reported that it will have no effect.

Government measure   No effect
Canada Job Grant   61%
Increase of the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE) to $800,000 from $750,000, and index it to inflation.   58%
Extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance for machinery and equipment   53%
Renewal and expansion of the Employment Insurance Hiring Credit   49%
Changes to the dividend tax credit for small business income   46%
Elimination of the deficit by 2015   45%
Tax relief for small businesses once the deficit is eliminated   36%

Other highlights of the Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey include the following:

  • Fewer Canadian SMBs have hired or will be hiring full-time positions in comparison to their American counterparts (67 per cent vs. 82 per cent), but more are planning on hiring part-time positions (45 per cent vs. 29 per cent).
  • Midsized businesses with 20-99 employees are twice as likely to be hiring in 2013 than small businesses with 1-19 employees (36 per cent vs. 14 per cent).
  • 50 per cent of those respondents who are not planning on hiring seasonal help reported that there wasn't a business need for extra help.

The survey was conducted among 605 small and midsized businesses in May 2013 and has a margin of error of +/- 4% at a 95% confidence level.

The full findings of the Sage SMB Hiring Outlook Survey can be found here.

About The Sage Group plc
Sage Group plc is a leading global provider of business management software to small and medium sized companies, creating greater freedom for them to succeed. Sage understands how and why each business is unique. We provide products and services that suit varying needs, are a pleasure to use and are secure and efficient. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has over 6 million customers and more than 13,380 employees in 24 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia and Brazil. For further information please visit

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Press Contact:
Yvonne Yuen
Sage North America