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Small Businesses Report Record Levels of Job Openings

NFIB report finds nearly half of small businesses have positions they can’t fill

WASHINGTON — According to the monthly jobs report released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 47% (seasonally adjusted) of small-business owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period.

“The small-business labor demand remained strong in February,” says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Small-business owners are working to maintain competitive compensation and are raising compensation in the hopes of filling their open critical positions.”

The percent of small-business owners reporting labor quality as their top small-business operating problem in February 2023 remained elevated at 21%, down three points from January. Labor cost reported as the single most important problem to business owners increased two points to 12%, down one point below the highest reading of 13% reached in December 2021.

A seasonally adjusted net 17% of owners are planning to create new jobs in the next three months, down two points from January and 15 points below its record high reading of 32 reached in August 2021, showing that the trend in planned hiring is on the decline.

The report showed that 60% of owners were hiring or trying to hire in February, up three points from January. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 90% 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.

Seasonally adjusted, a net 46% of owners reported raising compensation, unchanged from last month. A net 23% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up one point from January.

The report found that 38% of owners have job openings for skilled workers and 19% have openings for unskilled labor.


Small Businesses Report Record Levels of Job Openings

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