- 51 percent of respondents in NFIB’s latest jobs report say their business has job openings they haven’t been able to fill
- 28 percent cite labor quality as their top concern, while 12 percent cite labor costs
- Raising compensation is a common resource employers have to attract and retain workers, but also contributes to inflationary pressures
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
Labor challenges continued to weigh on employers and pressure them to increase wages, according to the September jobs report from the National Federation of Independent Business.
Among the 537 respondents from NFIB’s member firms, 51 percent said their business has job openings they haven’t been able to fill. This share is up 1 percentage point from August, and the second consecutive month where a record share of respondents has been unable to find qualified hires. NFIB has issued the survey for 48 years, and the historic average of firms that haven’t been able to fill jobs is 22 percent.
“More and more small business owners are struggling to find workers for their open positions,” said Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist at NFIB. “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.”
- NFIB says raising compensation is the most common resource available to employers to retain talent and compete for workers, but also creates inflationary pressure and has a limited effect on the labor force participation rate
- A record net share of 42 percent said they have raised their compensation, while a net share of 30 percent plan to do so in the next three months – up 4 points from August’s record high
- Overall, about two-thirds of respondents said they tried to hire workers in September, with a net share of 26 percent planning to create jobs in the next three months
- 62 percent, including 92 percent of those actively trying to hire, said they’d received few if any qualified job applicants
- 46 percent had openings available for skilled labor, while 28 percent had openings for unskilled labor
- 28 percent cited labor quality as their top concern, while 12 percent cited labor costs