Worker Shortage a Top Problem for Small Businesses

Small businesses are struggling to fill positions amid a tight labor market

Ahead of the release of the Labor Department's June jobs report, a survey of small business owners by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found that half reported job openings they could not fill, down just one point from May’s 48-year record high.

The NFIB’s monthly jobs report shows that just over a fifth or 23% of owners said that labor quality was their top business problem, ranking second behind inflation. Eight percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem, a historic high. 

The survey also found that small business owners’ plans to hire remain high, with 19% of business owners planning to create new jobs in the next three months. However, 33% of percent of owners reported few or no qualified applicants in June, and 27% reported there were none.

In terms of worker pay, the survey found that 48% of owners were raising compensation, down one point from May, but only two points below the 48-year record high set in January. Twenty eight percent said they plan to raise pay in the next three months.

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