“The labor force participation rate is slowly rising, which is good news for small businesses looking for workers,” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB Chief Economist. “While wage gains have been good, inflation has outpaced it, reducing real disposable income. Small employers continue to raise wages and make business adjustments to attract qualified employees.”
Seasonally adjusted, a net 46% of owners reported raising compensation, down three points from March. A net 27% of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down one point from March. Both actual and planned compensation changes eased in March but remain near record high levels.
Forty-seven percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period. Forty percent of owners have openings for skilled workers and 22% have openings for unskilled labor.
In the construction industry, 54% of the job openings are for skilled workers, down seven points. Sixty-four percent of construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants, demonstrating one of the tightest domestic labor markets in recent history.
Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 20% planning to create new jobs in the next three months. Of those owners hiring or trying to hire, 93% 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 and 25% reported none.