Record Number of Small Business Owners Report Labor Quality as Top Business Problem

National Federation of Independent Business (12/02/21)

Small business owners continue to struggle to increase their workforce, with 29% of owners reporting labor quality as their top business problem in November (a 48-year record high), according to the National Federation of Independent Business. Ten percent of owners cited labor costs as their top problem. Seasonally adjusted, 48% reported job openings they could not fill in the current period. Overall, 60% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in November, down two points from October. A seasonally adjusted net 25% plan to create new jobs in the next three months, down one point from October.

Ninety-three percent of owners hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the position they were trying to fill. Seasonally adjusted, a net 44% reported raising compensation, unchanged from October and a 48-year record high reading. A net 32% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, unchanged from October’s record-high reading. Forty-one percent of owners have openings for skilled workers and 22% have openings for unskilled labor.

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