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About four in 10 businesses are experiencing significant impacts from labour shortages, according to new research from National Australia Bank (NAB).

Big businesses are hardest hit by the talent squeeze, the NAB Business Insight Report released this month showed..

About four in 10 medium (38 per cent) and large (37 per cent) firms view labour shortages as a very significant issue, compared with three in 10 (31 per cent) small businesses.

Tradespeople now account for about 35 per cent of the nation’s total workforce shortage. 

In Tasmania, tradespeople make up 44 per cent of the state’s total labour shortage, followed closely by Western Australia, where they account for 40 per cent of the workforce crunch. 

NAB CEO Ross McEwan said bringing talent into Australia will be key to addressing the labour and skill shortages in the next 12 months.

“Australian businesses are facing significant skilled and unskilled labour shortages,” McEwan said.

“To get the economy really firing we will need to bring people into Australia and make sure, as a nation, we’re building a skilled workforce for the future.”

The research captured the views of around 1,600 Australian businesses across a broad range of industries and sizes from 16 November to 13 December 2021.

During the survey, businesses shared how prevalent the labour shortage issue is today, their expectations for the next 12 months, and how they believe the issue can be solved.

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