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U.S. Chamber Poll Finds Two-Thirds of Companies Are Holding Off on Hiring New Workers

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Metlife poll of small business owners finds that only one-third are actively working to hire employees
  • Less than half of respondents who are recruiting workers have been able to find candidates in their area or with the necessary skills and experience
  • Small business owners have taken on more roles, worked longer hours, or asked their staff to work longer hours in response to labor shortages

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Business groups and employers have been increasingly raising the alarm about a mismatch between available jobs and workers willing to fill them as the United States economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. A poll by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Metlife, issued in June, finds that many companies have given up on seeking, recruiting, or hiring new workers, with only 33 percent actively doing so.

Among those looking to find new workers, less than half reported that they were able to find candidates in their area or with the necessary skills and experience. Smaller businesses faced greater hurdles, with 48 percent of those with five to 19 employees saying it was difficult to find candidates.

  • 54 percent of small businesses facing hiring challenges said they had to personally work longer hours or take on more roles; 42 percent had asked staff to work longer hours, and 31 percent said they were experiencing scheduling difficulties due to insufficient staff
  • Planned strategies for attracting talent included new advertising methods (26 percent), raising pay (24 percent), offering more flexible hours (22 percent), or creating a remote or hybrid work environment (22 percent)
  • 55 percent said they think the business climate will return to normal in six months, while 27 percent said they think the recovery will be faster
  • 62 percent were concerned about the future of their business, with about one in four seriously concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their business

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