“The labor market continues to be a significant challenge for small business owners,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Owners are managing several economic headwinds and continue to make business adjustments to mitigate lost sales opportunities due to staffing shortages. Almost half of owners are raising compensation to attract workers for their open positions.”
Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 21% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, up one point from July.
A net 46% (seasonally adjusted) reported raising compensation, down two points from July and four points below the record high set in January. A net 26% plan to raise compensation in the next three months.
Overall, 63% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in August. Of those trying to hire, 89% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Thirty-one percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 26% reported none.
Forty-one percent of owners have openings for skilled workers and 24% have openings for unskilled labor. Sixty-six percent of the job openings in the construction industry are for skilled workers, up six points from July. Seventy-one percent of construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants, up four points.