The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Center released a quarterly Small Business Economic Trends industry report highlighting the construction, manufacturing, retail, and services industries. NFIB’s July Small Business Economic Trends report showed the overall Optimism Index at 99.7.
“Small businesses are working hard to recover from the pandemic while still facing strong headwinds,” said Holly Wade, Executive Director of NFIB’s Research Center. “Each industry is recovering differently but all have been impacted by the lack of qualified workers and for many, supply chain disruptions.”
Key findings for the construction industry include:
- The Optimism Index for July was 98.8, up 1.4 points from April’s quarterly report but behind the overall Optimism Index by 0.9 points.
- Small business owners in the construction industry had the highest percentage of unfilled job openings among all industries at 61 percent.
- The demand for new construction remains high-driven by historically low interest rates however, the struggle to hire qualified workers had led to an inability to form work teams and begin permitted projects to meet demand.
- Fifty-nine percent of the job openings in the industry are for skilled workers and 66 percent of construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants.
- Sixty-five percent of construction firms reported raising prices in July.
- Earnings trends in construction fell 12 points from the previous quarter to a net negative 22 percent.
The full survey is available here.