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NFIB: Unfilled Job Openings Reach Record High at Small Businesses

August 06, 2018, 07:10 AM
Filed Under: Economy

The tight labor market continues to be the biggest problem facing small businesses, with 37 percent of owners reporting job openings they could not fill in the current period, a new survey high. Up one point from June, 13 percent of owners reported using temporary workers to compete in the tight labor market according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) monthly jobs report.

“The July jobs report shows the magnitude of small businesses that are growing and hiring at record levels, creating new jobs and opportunities for the workforce, and offering employees higher compensation,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan.

Job openings are most frequent in construction (57 percent), manufacturing (46 percent) and wholesale trades (45 percent). Small business owners reported job openings for both skilled and unskilled labor. Thirty-three percent reported openings for skilled workers and 15 percent reported openings for unskilled labor, both two points higher than June’s report.

The number of small businesses planning to create jobs across the country remains at record high levels in July, while owners added the largest number of workers in 12 years. A seasonally adjusted net 23 percent are planning to create new jobs, up two points from June’s 21 percent. Owners added the largest number of workers per firm since 2006, adding a net 0.37 workers per firm on average.

“Small business owners are continuing to show that they’re looking to hire and willing to pay more to hire the right employees,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Record job openings suggest that the economy can keep up its growth pace over the next few years if the labor shortage can be resolved or mitigated.”

Small businesses report a net 32 percent of higher worker compensation, up one point from last month. Plans to raise compensation rose one point to a net 22 percent, two points below the peak of 24 percent in January of this year.

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