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  • Higher costs and difficulties finding and retaining staff on the horizon, SMB survey finds 

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Higher costs and difficulties finding and retaining staff on the horizon, SMB survey finds 

The small business 2021 expectations survey conducted in Western Australia highlights the challenges small businesses will likely face with employment insecurity this year.

Expect higher costs of employing staff

This year sees just under two thirds of respondents (64 per cent) expecting the cost of employing staff to increase in 2021, up from 57 per cent in 2020 but down from 72.2 per cent in 2019. Only 5 per cent of respondents see the cost of employing staff decreasing in 2020, while 31 per cent expect it to remain stable.

Chart 7: Respondents’ expectations for the cost of employing staff over the next 12 months

Bar graph showing respondents’ expectations for the cost of employing staff over the next 12 months.

More challenging to find and retain suitable staff

Three quarters of respondents (75.3 per cent) indicated they are expecting it to be more challenging to find suitable staff. Only 2.7 per cent indicated that it will be easier to find new employees (down from 9.3 per cent from 2020), while 22 per cent are expecting it to remain the same (down from 52.3 per cent in 2020).

Chart 8: Respondents’ expectations for the ease at which their businesses will find new employees over the next 12 months

Bar graph showing respondents’ expectations for the ease at which their businesses will find new employees over the next 12 months.

When asked about retaining suitable staff this year, 2.6 per cent of respondents indicated that it will be easier, while just under half (48.7 per cent) are expecting it to be more challenging or remain unchanged.

Respondents’ expectations for their ability to retain suitable staff over the next 12 months

Bar graph showing respondents’ expectations for their ability to retain suitable staff over the next 12 months.

These two results point to a tightening of the labour market and the current issues small businesses are reportedly facing in being able to find and retain suitably skilled staff throughout the State.

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