U.S. Small-Business Job Openings Match Second-Highest on Record

(Bloomberg) -- The share of U.S. small companies with open positions in October matched the second-highest on record and more businesses said they plan to boost compensation, signs that a tight labor market could soon translate into bigger pay raises.

Thirty-five percent of small-business owners surveyed said that they had jobs to fill, matching July as the second-highest in records to 1973, according to data released Thursday by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. In November 2000, an all-time high 36 percent had openings. Job postings last month were most prevalent in construction, with 49 percent reporting availability, and in manufacturing with 48 percent.

While wage growth in the U.S. has been modest during the current expansion, reports of increased worker compensation remained strong in October. Some 21 percent of small companies said they plan to boost pay in coming months, the largest share since December 2015. The last time it was higher was in March 2000.

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