Forty-seven percent (seasonally adjusted) of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)’s monthly jobs report.
“The small business labor demand remained strong in February,” Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist for NFIB. “Small business owners are working to maintain competitive compensation and are raising compensation in the hopes of filling their open critical positions.”
The percent of small business owners reporting labor quality as their top small business operating problem remains elevated at 21 percent, down three points from January. Labor cost reported as the single most important problem to business owners increased two points to 12 percent, down one point below the highest reading of 13 percent reached in December 2021.
A seasonally adjusted net 17 percent of owners are planning to create new jobs in the next three months, down two points from January and 15 points below its record high reading of 32 reached in August 2021, showing that the trend in planned hiring is on the decline.
Sixty percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in January, up three points from January. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 90 percent of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Thirty percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions.
Seasonally adjusted, a net 46 percent of owners reported raising compensation, unchanged from last month. A net 23 percent plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up one point from January.
Thirty-eight percent of owners have job openings for skilled workers and 19 percent have openings for unskilled labor.
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