Record Share of Small Businesses in U.S. Report Job Vacancies
(Bloomberg) -- A record share of U.S. small-business owners said they had open positions they could not fill in September, while an unprecedented number boosted wages to attract workers, the National Federation of Independent Business said Thursday.
Fifty-one percent of firms had openings last month, up 1 percentage point from August and the largest share in monthly data back to 1986, according to the NFIB data. A record 42% of small-business owners said they raised compensation.
“For most small employers, labor costs are the largest operating outlay, and owners will be compelled to pass those costs on to their customers by raising prices,” Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, said in a statement.
A record 30% of small firms also said they are planning to raise worker pay in the next three months.
Companies continue to struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. Of the firms hiring or trying to hire, 92% indicated there were few or no qualified applicants for open positions, NFIB said. Eight in 10 construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants.
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