April 23, 2024 2:13 pm
Small-Business Employment Growth Slows: Report from American Drycleaner

According to a report by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), job openings among small business owners decreased in February to pre-pandemic levels. This is a positive sign, as it means that it is becoming easier for owners to find qualified workers. However, employment activity has not completely returned to normal, and labor demand remains strong.

In fact, 37% of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, which is down two points from January but still high. This is the lowest reading since January 2021. The percentage of small business owners reporting labor quality as their top small business operating problem declined five points from January to 16%, the lowest reading since April 2020.

Labor costs were reported as the single most important problem for business owners, with an increase of one point to 11%. This is only two points below the highest reading reached in December 2021. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 91% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill, up two points from January.

Seasonally adjusted, a net 35% reported raising compensation, down four points from January and the lowest reading since May 2021. A net 19% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down seven points from January and the lowest since March 2021. The report also mentions that 32% have openings for skilled workers, an increase of two points, and 12% have openings for unskilled labor, a decrease of three points.

In terms of job openings in different sectors, the construction sector saw a six-point increase from last month, with over half of businesses in that sector having a job opening they can’t fill. Job openings were highest in the construction

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