Finding qualified workers remains a critical problem for small businesses, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2017) – Fewer small businesses tried to hire in June while slightly more reduced employment, according to the monthly National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Jobs Report, released today.
“After last month’s surge in jobs activity, small business owners seem to be in a holding pattern while they wait to see what Congress will do with taxes and healthcare,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.
Ten percent of owners reported increasing employment, which is down five points from the previous month. Meanwhile, the number of firms reducing employment edged up 2 points to 11 percent.
The percentage of owners who said they hired or tried to hire last month dropped 5 points to 44 percent. Eighty-five percent of them reported few or no qualified workers, while 15 percent of owners identified the qualified worker shortage as their number one problem.
“Hiring activity remains strong by historical standards, but the drop in June was unmistakable,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Whether this is the start of a negative trend or a one-month blip is something we’ll have to keep an eye on.”
According to Duggan, the dip in June could signal growing uncertainty among small business owners about the direction of federal policy.
“Small business optimism has been flying high for months based on the expectation that Congress will cut taxes and reform healthcare,” she said. “Washington has not delivered on the small business agenda yet, and small business owners are paying attention.”