A 42-Year High We Could Do Without

Date: December 14, 2021

Latest NFIB Small Business Economic Trends report shows significant spike in selling prices

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 14, 2021—Release today of the nation’s bellwether measurement of its small-business economy revealed one eye-popping stat from the 10 components the National Federation of Independent (NFIB) uses to produce its monthly Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) report—The net percentage of small-business owners who raised selling prices jumped six points to a net 59%–the highest reading since October 1979.

Other key findings include:

  • Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased one point to a net negative 38%, tied for the 48-year record low reading. This indicator has declined 18 points over the past four months to its lowest reading since November 2012.

  • Seasonally adjusted, a net 54% of owners plan price hikes, up three points from October and a 48-year record high reading.

  • Forty-eight percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a decrease of one point from October.

“As the end of the year nears, the outlook for business conditions is not encouraging to small business owners as lawmakers propose additional mandates and tax increases,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Owners are also pessimistic as many continue managing challenges like rampant inflation and supply chain disruptions that are impacting their businesses right now.”

Here in California, John Kabateck, NFIB’s state director, said, “We desperately needed the rain, but we don’t need another drop of it on our economy. Supply-chain disruptions, the inability to fill open positions, and, to some extent, the explosion of retail theft have buffeted businesses large and small, so today’s SBET results do raise an eyebrow without being a surprise. Small-business owners are by nature and necessity planners. What would really be helpful right now is to let them know that some of the state’s budgetary largesse will be used to pay down, or off, the unemployment insurance trust fund loans, so Main Street entrepreneurs aren’t socked with astronomic spikes in their UI taxes. The Legislature could also forgo any plans for more paid leave requirements or a universal health-care scheme.”

Released on the second Tuesday of every month, 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. Today’s survey was conducted in November. The data are a national snapshot not broken down by state.

Contact: John Kabateck, California State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

Keep up with the latest on California small-business news at www.nfib.com/california, where this release can also be read, or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CA or on Facebook @NFIB.CA.


For 78 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.

NFIB California
915 L. Street, Suite C-411
Sacramento, CA 95814
Twitter: @NFIB_CA
Facebook: @NFIB.CA


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