Small Businesses Continue to Struggle Finding Workers

According to the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB’s) monthly jobs report, 46 percent of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down two points from May but still above the 48-year historical average of 22 percent. Small business owners continue to struggle to find qualified workers for their open positions while raising compensation at a record high level.

“In the busy summer season, many firms haven’t been able to hire enough workers to efficiently run their businesses, which has restricted sales and output,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “In June, we saw a record high percent of owners raising compensation to help attract needed employees and job creation plans also remain at record highs. Owners are doing everything they can to get back to a full, productive staff.”

A net 39 percent (seasonally adjusted) of owners reported raising compensation (up five points), a record high. A net 26 percent plan to raise compensation in the next three months (up four points). Up two points from May’s report, 63 percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in June. A seasonally adjusted net 28 percent of owners plan to create new jobs in the next three months.

Finding qualified workers remains a problem for small businesses as 89 percent of those hiring or trying to hire reported few or no “qualified” applicants for their open positions in June. Forty percent of owners reported openings for skilled workers (unchanged) and 22 percent have openings for unskilled labor (down five points). In the construction industry, 60 percent of the job openings are for skilled workers (up nine points). Sixty percent of construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants (unchanged).

Unchanged from last month, 26 percent of owners said that labor quality was their top business problem, remaining as the top overall concern. Eight percent cited labor costs as their top business problem.

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