Jobs Report

NFIB Small Business Jobs Report

The NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. The survey was conducted in September 2016 and reflects a random sample of 10,000 small-business owners/members.

NFIB Jobs Report Signals Higher Unemployment

Fewer job openings could nudge jobless rate upward in the coming months

NFIB’s chief economist William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following comments on NFIB’s September 2016 Jobs Report:

Bill "Dunk" Dunkelberg
NFIB Chief Economist
William Dunkelberg

Twenty-four percent of small business owners reported job openings in September, a six-point plunge from the previous month, which could mean a higher unemployment rate in the months ahead, according to the latest NFIB Jobs Report released today.

“The high level of uncertainty among small business owners makes them reluctant to create new jobs and hire new employees,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.  “Small business is traditionally the engine of job growth.  Unfortunately for the economy, that engine isn’t revving.”

A net 10 percent of small businesses said that they had plans to create new jobs, up one point from August.  Very weak activity in the retail and construction industries offset strong job creation in professional services and manufacturing. 

“This is a very weak recovery, and what little strength there is has been uneven,” said Duggan. 

Seventeen percent of owners said that finding qualified applicants was their biggest problem, a two-point increase from the previous month.  That headache has been steadily creeping up the list of Single Most Important Business Problems in the NFIB data.  In September it ranked second in a list of nine problems.

NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said that the fall in job openings might suggest frustration among small business owners who have been dealing with a tightening labor market for months.

“They are having a very hard time finding qualified workers.  That’s driving up compensation.  On the other hand, they can’t raise prices because of weakness in the economy.  Some are even cutting prices. 

“The combination of those two forces creates tremendous pressure on small businesses to find other ways to reduce costs.  Creating fewer jobs is one way to ease that pressure.”

The full Small Business Economic Trends report will be released on Tuesday, October11th

jobs component chart

planning to hire



Employment Outlook:





September 2016 Jobs Report from NFIB

Contact Kelly Klass:

  • 609-713-4243

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