What can be done to reverse another record high in job openings?
SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 6, 2021—Results from the latest Jobs Report released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) show another record high. But not one its small-business-owning membership will pop champagne corks over.
April’s scan revealed 44% of small-business owners still having job openings they could not fill. This number was 22 points higher than the 48-year historical average, and two points higher than the 42% figure from March. April is the third consecutive month with a record-high reading of unfilled job openings among small businesses. The Jobs Report is released the first Thursday of every month and is a national sample not broken down by state.
“These numbers don’t surprise me,” said John Kabateck, NFIB’s California state director. “I hear the lament of not being able to fill job openings quite often when talking to our California members. Finding qualified employees has always been a concern of small-business owners, now it seems that has taken a back seat to finding any employees. The reasons probably vary, including workers still apprehensive about returning to the job for fear of contracting COVID-19 to unemployment benefits still paying better than returning to work. The federal government’s extra $300 it added to state unemployment benefits comes to an end in early September, so it will be a matter of time before showing up for work is a better-paying proposition than remaining on the couch watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island. Both Congress and California’s government have done all they can with loans and grants to keep businesses open, now it seems efforts to restock those businesses with help should be a top policy concern.”
From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg
“The tight labor market is the biggest concern for small businesses who are competing with various factors such as supplemental unemployment benefits, childcare and in-person school restrictions, and the virus. Many small business owners who are trying to hire are finding themselves unsuccessful and are having to delay the hiring or offer higher wages. Some owners are offering ‘show up’ bonuses for workers who agree to take the job and actually show up for work.”
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 April 2021 and reflects a random sample of 10,000 small-business owners/members.
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.
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