Election Night Positive for Kansas Small Business
According to NFIB’s October Jobs Report, small businesses are looking to hire employees as they reported a historically high level of job openings this month. Overall, 55% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in October, down 1 point from September. Thirty-three percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 3 points from September’s report.
“Here in Kansas, our entrepreneurs are having a hard time finding qualified workers,” said NFIB State Director in Kansas, Dan Murray. “It couldn’t come at a worse time. Our small business owners are focusing on re-opening their businesses and recovering from this unprecedented economic and health pandemic. As we all know, we need small businesses to keep Kansas’ economy running.
Election night was a good night for Kansas small business. Three of the four NFIB endorsed candidates running for Congress won their races, including Tracey Mann, Jake LaTurner and Ron Estes. NFIB endorsed Roger Marshall also won his U.S. Senate race. On the state level, 83% of NFIB endorsed candidates won their races. The Senate and House pro-business majority grew in both chambers.
“Small business owners here in Kansas should feel positive about the way election night panned out. Kansas is sending three small business friendly candidates to the Capitol in D.C. where they have promised to stand up for small business issues. What small business needs right now is another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding, and we urge Congress to work together to make sure small business relief is at the top of their list,” said Dan Murray.
Small businesses increased employment by 0.1 workers per firm on average over the past few months, an increase of 0.09 workers per firm from September. Up one point, 11% of owners reported increasing employment an average of 0.3 workers per firm, and 14% (down 2 points) reported reducing employment an average of 3.8 workers per firm (seasonally adjusted). A seasonally adjusted net 18% of owners are planning to create new jobs in the next 3 months, down 5 points from September but historically a very strong reading.
Finding qualified employees remains a problem for small businesses with 87% of those trying to hire reporting few or no “qualified” applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-eight percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 20% reported none.
A net 23% of owners reported raising compensation (unchanged) and a net 18% plan to do so in the coming months, up 2 points. Eight percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem (down 1 point) but 21% said that labor quality was their top business concern, exceeding taxes, regulations, and weak sales.
Twenty-nine percent of owners reported opening for skilled workers (down 3 points) and 14% have job openings for unskilled labor (down 2 points). Forty-four percent of the job openings in the construction industry are for skilled workers. Fifty-eight percent of construction firms reported few or no qualified applicants for their job openings and 35% cited the shortage of qualified labor as their top business problem.