Job Openings at U.S. Small Businesses Increase to Fresh Record

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U.S. small-business owners reported a record share of unfilled positions in May, and more firms are boosting wages to attract workers, the National Federation of Independent Business said Thursday.

Some 48% of firms had unfilled positions last month, a fourth consecutive record, the NFIB said in a report published Thursday. A total of 34% of small-business owners said they raised pay, the largest share in a year, and more indicated they plan to raise compensation in the next three months.

Job Openings at U.S. Small Businesses Increase to Fresh Record

“Owners are offering higher wages to try to remedy the labor shortage problem,” Bill Dunkelberg, the NFIB’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Ultimately, higher labor costs are being passed on to customers in higher selling prices.”

Some 93% of business owners reported few or no qualified applications for positions they need to fill. Within construction, 66% of respondents reported few or no qualified job seekers, up from 58% a month earlier.

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