Canadian workers pressured by inflation, high workloads

09 August 2023 2 min. read
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Canadian workers are feeling pressure from persistent inflation and high workloads, according to PwC’s annual Hopes and Fears survey. The accountancy polled 2,000 workers in Canada – and 54,000 globally – on the evolving future of work.

Despite a softening economy, the high turnover of the Great Resignation era is primed to continue. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Canadians said they’re very likely to change employers in the next 12 months, up from 16% last year.

A big reason for that is struggling to make ends meet as housing, food, and transport costs spiral. Only 38% of the global workforce said they have money left over at the end of the month, down from 47% last year. One in five (21%) workers now work multiple jobs, with 69% doing so because they need additional income.

Nearly half (42%) of Canadians said that while their household can pay its bills, they have nothing left over for savings. Fourteen percent said their household struggles to pay its bills.Canadian workers pressured by inflation, high workloadsWork pressure remains high, with just 22% of employees saying their workload was often or usually manageable in the past 12 months.

Workers can add the AI revolution to their pile of stressors. The rapid rise of generative AI tools is set to upturn the workforce – eliminating certain roles while altering others. Those who don’t get replaced will be required to upskill and work with AI in hyper-productive roles.

The survey found that many Canadians are unaware of the scale of change that is approaching. Less than half said they have a good sense of how the skills their jobs require will change in the next few years.

“In a world where CEOs know they need to transform their businesses to succeed, it is important to leverage the benefits of technology, supported by a plan to unlock the skills and talents of all workers. It is in no one’s interest for businesses to chase the same group of skilled workers, while the rest of society gets left behind,” said Kathy Parker, partner, national workforce of the future consulting leader, PwC Canada.

PwC Canada in May announced it would invest $200 million over the next three years to expand and scale its AI offerings. The investment includes upskilling its 9,000 employees on AI tools and hiring more STEM talent.