Small Businesses Begin Rehiring

As Canadian provinces begin entering stage three of reopening, they are also embarking on another promising economic phase: rehiring. Fifty-eight per cent of small businesses that laid off staff due to COVID-19 are now planning to rehire in the next three months, says a survey by Wagepoint, an online small business payroll software company. Layoffs in March represented 60 per cent of layoffs this year but, by the end of June, 55 per cent of those employees had been rehired, an upward trend that continued into July. When COVID-19 first struck, 60 per cent of Canadian small businesses were forced to make rapid changes to their workforce. Forty per cent reduced headcount (either temporarily or permanently) and 44 per cent reduced hours or compensation. Firms with 10 or more employees were the hardest hit (70 per cent reduced either headcount, hours, or compensation). Firms with fewer than 10 employees were still impacted, but less so (57 per cent reduced either headcount, hours, or compensation). Wagepoint says that as Canada's small businesses continue to overcome the unpredictable nature of economic fluctuation and recovery, similar patterns of furloughing and re-hiring are likely to be seen in the coming months and potentially years.