Inflationary headwinds and ongoing labour shortages are continuing to buffet Western Australian businesses.
Businesses continue to see rising operating costs as the main obstacle to growing their business over the next 12 months, with three in four (75%) businesses reporting this. The biggest cost pressure is wages, which is compounded by WA having the highest payroll tax burden in the country.
Additionally, businesses are grappling with persistent labour shortages. An alarming proportion of businesses in the professional services (87%), resources (85%) and transport (82%) sectors have reported they are struggling to fill a position.
Encouragingly, the lead up to Christmas has seen weak demand ease as a barrier to growth, with one in five (18%) businesses reporting this, down 9 percentage points since September. Although this concern has reduced on aggregate, it remains acute for businesses in the food services, retail trade and agriculture sectors.
In this edition of CCIWA’s Business Confidence Survey — which attracted 816 responses — we asked businesses what they would be forced to do next Christmas should the proposed changes to casual employment in the Closing Loopholes Bill come into effect, where the company’s repayments sit relative to its turnover and whether they are struggling to hire for a particular skillset.