Missouri Small Businesses Looking to Hire, Having Trouble Finding Qualified Labor in October

Date: November 05, 2020

Election Night Positive for Missouri 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.


“Missouri small business owners are having a tough time finding qualified workers and it comes at a critical time,” said NFIB State Director in Missouri, Brad Jones. “Small business owners should be focused on recovering from the pandemic and keeping their doors open. Missouri small business owners are the building blocks of the state’s economy and we need them to survive if we want to recover from this pandemic.”


Election night was a good night for Missouri small business. All 6 of NFIB endorsed candidates running for Congress won their races, including Ann Wagner, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Vicky Hartzler, Sam Graves, Billy Long, and Jason Smith. NFIB endorsed Gov. Mike Parson also won his race.


“Small business owners should be enthusiastic about the way election night turned out.

 We are sending six pro-small business candidates to Washington D.C, all of whom have pledged to work hard for Missouri small business owners. The goal now is to get those hard working entrepreneurs another round of Paycheck Protection Program money. According to another recent NFIB study, nearly a quarter of small businesses think they may have to shut their doors for good within the next 6 months if our economy doesn’t improve. Congress should have small business at the top of the list as they come up with the next round of coronavirus relief money,” said Brad Jones.


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.


Click here to view the entire NFIB jobs report.

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