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Gravenhurst completes wage survey of four sectors

The Town of Gravenhurst has finished its first-ever wage survey.

Nicole Hilton, Gravenhurst’s Economic Development Coordinator, says the survey was done in response to local businesses “voicing concerns over attracting and retaining employees”. Hilton says they focused on the four sectors which reported the most difficulty: construction and skilled trades, tourism and hospitality, retail, and healthcare.

Of the 103 businesses surveyed, about 39 per cent of employees responded over the two-month reporting window.

“As we had no data before the survey, it gives us a better understanding of the current position of our local businesses,” says Hilton. “You know, sometimes businesses are doing great at offering incentives like following the concept of living wage, performance rewards. But also there’s some disparities between seasonal and part-time, and similar positions found across industries.”

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Only eight of the businesses surveyed were found to start employees at Muskoka’s living wage of $18.55, according to the Ontario Living Wage network. 

Construction and skilled trades were found to have the highest percentage of staff employed full-time, at 73 per cent, with retail at 64 per cent, health care at 52 per cent, and hospitality and tourism at 26 per cent.

According to Hilton, the town will use the data to guide future programs and decisions.

“The survey provides us with that information that we did not have before, and we like to use data to shape our programs and services,” says Hilton. “So upon finalizing this project, we’re not diving into anything as of right now. We want to take our time to analyse the data to ensure future projects are the best suited to support our local businesses.”

Since the data is publicly available, Hilton adds that she hopes other organizations can make use of it for changes in their own operations.

The survey results are available here.

**With files from Mathew Reisler

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