High salary demands putting strain on Alberta businesses

High salary demands putting strain on Alberta businesses AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Jun 17, 2013 11:05 am MDT Alberta workers may earn the highest incomes in the country, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s rosy for small and mid-sized companies.According to ATB Financial’s second quarter Business Beat Survey, 67 per cent of provincial business owners say finding and retaining experienced or skilled labour is a problem and 37 per cent say they simply can’t meet salary demands.These high-wage expectations are forcing owners to adapt and create new ways to not only get staff, but retain them as well.For example, one Calgary-based company offers employees a continental breakfast, hot lunch and on-site fitness.Small and mid-sized businesses make up 99.9 per cent of businesses in the province. read more

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Auto sales hit onemillion mark by midway point of year for first

by David Hodges, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 4, 2017 2:14 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 5, 2017 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Despite slumping passenger car sales, for the first time more than one million new vehicles have been sold in Canada by the midway mark of the year.DesRosiers Automotive Reports says overall car and light truck sales increased five per cent, with 1,039,068 vehicles moving off lots from January through June compared to the same time period last year.The market research firm says auto sales in June also set a new record, with 203,486 vehicles sold, 6.5 per cent more than during the same month a year ago.Like in the past, sales of light trucks led the way in June, rising by 10 per cent year-over-year, and easily offsetting a 0.1 per cent decline in passenger car sales. Year-to-date, passenger car sales were down two per cent while light truck sales were up 8.8 per cent.While this is the strongest start on record for Canada, DesRosiers says a different picture has been forming in the U.S. where new vehicle sales have been down for four consecutive months as of June.“Surpassing 2016 as an all-time record setting year may not be a foregone conclusion should Canada start to follow that trend in the latter half of the year,” the firm said in a release.Increasingly strong signals from the Bank of Canada that rock-bottom interest rates are nearing an end may also play a role in slowing down the furious pace of car sales, says Equifax Canada.“Higher rates may actually lead to a short term blip as dealers and buyers look to take advantage of rates now,” said Bill Johnston, the credit bureau’s vice-president of data and analytics.“(But) over coming months, the cumulative rate hikes will begin to slowdown auto sales as manufacturers will find it more difficult to offer the long-term promo rates.”Michael Hatch, chief economist at the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, says he doesn’t see a rate bump having a huge impact on prospective buyers.“For one thing, any rate increase in the short term is likely to be very small, in the 25-basis point ballpark,” he said, adding that the delinquency rate on auto loans continues to sit at historically low levels.A TransUnion Canada report for the first quarter of 2017 showed that while average auto lending balances rose 2.75 per cent year-over-year, at the same time, serious delinquency rates remained essentially flat at 1.70 per cent.George Iny, president of the Automobile Protection Association, said he expects car makers to continue to keep interest rates low on new vehicles because it makes long-term car loans of seven to eight years more palatable to the public.“It’s a bad loop if they get into it, if they raise rates, because it will then make the long loan unattractive,” he said. “And then people won’t take the vehicle at all.”Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter. Auto sales hit one-million mark by midway point of year for first time read more

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