Owners continue plans for compensation increases as finding qualified workers remains the biggest problem
Small business owners are continuing to hire and create new jobs at historically high levels, according to NFIB’s monthly Jobs Report, released today. Sixty-three percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire, up five points from last month and the highest level since September 1999. A seasonally-adjusted net 20 percent plan to create new jobs, up two points from May.
“Small business owners, once again, are continuing to be the driving force of our economy by hiring at record levels and adding new jobs,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “The number of owners hiring or looking for workers strengthened.”
The search for qualified workers remains owners’ biggest problem, but many continue plans to increase compensation to attract workers. Twenty-one percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem, only three points below the survey record. Thirty-six percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 3 points matching the survey record high set in November 2000. To compete in the tight labor market, a net 31 percent of owners reported raising compensation, marking the sixth straight month it has been 30 percent (net) or higher.
“Right now, more firms are looking for workers than workers looking for a job,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The competition for existing workers has tightened the labor market for both skilled and unskilled workers.”
Hiring is the strongest in construction, manufacturing, and financial services. Owners are also adding resources to invest in training for both new and existing workers.