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'Canadians are worried': new poll suggests cost of living crisis is bad...and getting worse

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Canadians are expecting a rough economic ride in 2023, according to a new nationwide Pollara survey.

It shows that many in the country are concerned about the rising cost of living and their jobs -- and aren't very optimistic about what's on the horizon. 

"We could sum it up with one word here, which is Canadians are 'worried,'" pollster Dan Arnold said. "They're worried about the economy and about their personal finances."

In fact, the group's annual economic outlook survey says this is the most concerned Canadians been since the financial crisis of 2008. 

Economically speaking, that negativity is especially noticeable in certain areas. 

"There's a very pessimistic outlook in Alberta, when people sort of zoom in on themselves and think about how their own personal finances are going," Arnold told CTV News. 

Sixty per cent of Alberta respondents say they're falling behind the cost of living. 

They say they're stressed about the current high prices of food, gas and housing. 

Albertans also expressed worry about electricity costs in the province. 

Twenty-six per cent expect job losses in the next 12 months. 

"There is quite a bit of fear and uncertainty in employers, businesses, job-seekers and even those who are currently employed," About Staffing recruitment manager Cristina Schultz said. 

And if economic forecasts are correct, a coming recession could make matters worse across the country -- even if it is projected to be less impactful in Alberta than in other provinces. 

Recruiting companies say that uncertainty is reflected in the recent behaviour of the employers it works with. 

"Businesses have hired and hired and the retention, sustainability and stability of that is really where a lot of these layoffs are going to manifest," Schultz said. 

Pollara surveyed 4,020 Canadian adults online in December for the poll. 

In Alberta, it has a margin of error of 4.7 per cent.

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