Rising costs, labor shortage top concerns for global businesses: survey

Labor shortage, staff retention and rising costs are the top three concerns for business owners, according to a recent international survey.

Rising costs have concerned more than 70 percent of global businesses in major economies surveyed, said David Price, CEO at Employsure New Zealand, adding this will be a challenging year for many businesses.

Peninsula Group conducted a survey of 79,000 businesses across New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ireland and Britain to see what the top priorities and concerns were for employers in 2023.

Growth is the main business goal for 58.6 percent of employers in all five countries, the survey showed. However, the current recession is having an impact on businesses in Britain and Ireland, with 38.4 percent and 34.7 percent respectively listing survival as their main goal for the year.

Rising costs are the top concern for businesses in Canada, Ireland and Britain, whereas in New Zealand and Australia, it only comes in third as a concern, it said.

Labor shortages are the top concern for 66.2 percent of New Zealand and Australian businesses, with employee retention the second highest concern. The cost-of-living crisis and staffing shortages are having a significant impact, with 66 percent of employers offering financial remuneration to help retention, according to the survey.

Those who are unable to offer financial incentives are offering flexible working hours and mental health support to help prevent employees from leaving.

The temporary measures that were brought in during the pandemic have changed the shape of work for many, with nearly 29 percent of employers prioritizing health and wellbeing and almost 28 percent making some form of flexible working a permanent feature, the survey showed.

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