Worker Shortages Remain a Top Problem for Small Business Owners

National Federation of Independent Business (07/07/22)

Half of small business owners (seasonally adjusted) reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down one point from May’s 48-year record high, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. Some 23% of owners said that labor quality was their top business problem, unchanged from May and in second place behind inflation. Eight percent cited labor costs as their top business problem, historically high. Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 19% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, even though down seven points from May.

Among those hiring or trying to hire, 94% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. One-third of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 27% reported none. A net 48% of owners (seasonally adjusted) reported raising compensation, down one point from May but only two points below the 48-year record high set in January. A net 28% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up three points from May. Some 42% of owners have openings for skilled workers (unchanged) and 22% have openings for unskilled labor, down three