April 21, 2024 11:13 pm
NFIB Report: Small Business Job Openings Drop to Pre-Pandemic Levels

In March, small businesses on Main Street experienced a slowdown in hiring, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. Despite this, job openings on Main Street are now at pre-pandemic levels. The small business labor market remains tight, with owners continuing to compete to retain and recruit employees.

The NFIB report indicated that 56% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in March, which was unchanged from February. Of those trying to hire, 86% reported few or no qualified applicants. Twenty-nine percent reported few qualified applicants, while 19% reported none. Additionally, 37% of all small business owners reported job openings they could not fill, which is the lowest reading since January 2021.

Labor quality was a top small business operating problem for 18% of owners in March, up two points from February. However, the number of owners reporting labor costs as the most important problem decreased by one point to 10%. Despite this, a net 38% of small business owners reported raising compensation in March. A net 21% planned to raise compensation in the next three months.

Thirty-one percent of owners reported job openings for skilled workers, while 14% had openings for unskilled labor. Construction job openings were down nine points from the previous month, with almost half of construction businesses having job openings they could not fill. Job openings were highest in the transportation and services sectors and lowest in the finance and wholesale sectors

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